265. The Last Day of Peace

Tomorrow is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was the last day of a peace which American’s had clung to even while war surged across Europe, North Africa, and Asia. The next day came war, and after the war was over America found herself to be a super-power engaged in a cold war with the USSR. Nothing would ever be the same.

I had intended to write a post giving a picture of that last day of peace, but when I began my research, I found that it had already been done, and done well. Here are two examples:

Roosevelt to Japanese emperor: “Prevent further death and destruction”

The day before infamy: December 6, 1941.

There have been other last days of peace. No one needs to be reminded of the day preceding 9/11. We probably ought to remember March 19, 2003, the day before we invaded Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction that never existed. We might also consider Viet Nam, but there is no “day before” to a war we stumbled into one foolish step at a time.

The most poignant last day of peace in American history is November 6, 1860. That was the election day which gave us Abraham Lincoln. By December, South Carolina had seceded. By January, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana had followed suit. By May the rest of the South had also broken off, and the Civil War was already underway.

As I write this protesters are in the streets carrying signs that say “Trump is not my President”. They haven’t seceded yet, although there are many who would like to. Yesterday I saw a petition for California to withdraw from the Union.

I opposed Trump. I could write thousands of words telling you why, but that time has passed.

Some of what Trump said during the campaign made sense, if you stripped away the racism, the insensitivity, and the bombast. It was no accident that people voted for him. We were all faced with choosing the lesser of two evils.

The time has come to regroup and become what the Brits call “the loyal opposition”.

Loyal.

And opposed. Oh, yes, very much opposed to the part of his message which was racist, exclusionary, and backward looking. That was the bulk of his message, but it wasn’t all. Not quite.

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