Current political gridlock mirrors period before the Civil War


I was reading Foxessa’s blog and found this:

I cannot express how much everything that we’ve been experiencing in the last ten years looks so much like 1850 — the year the elected politicians gridlocked for good, the constant rhetoric — and even actions — of violence employed on constant basis by the southerners against what they saw as trespasses against their rights — which was the right to trample on everyone else, and curtail everyone’s freedom for the sake of them keeping their slaves and spreading slavery everywhere, and what follows. With the Fugitive Slave Act in action, people in the free states were not only digusted by what they were seeing, but by what they were told they, by law, had to do to aid the slave owners. Their inevitable conclusion, based on this, and what the slave owners actually said, was that ultimately even white men could be enslaved by the same slave owners who were forcing them to recover slaves.

This is what I have been thinking, though I haven’t done Foxessa’s research on the 1850s. Our current political gridlock, the violent rhetoric and the actual violence all seem like the period before the Civil War.

The argument then was between slavery and freedom. I guess the question is, what is our current argument about? We know that hugely rich people are backing the Tea Party and the Republicans; and we know that the right wing in this country is deeply offended by the idea that people of color, immigrants, GLBT people, women and ordinary working people should have equal rights and decent lives.

So maybe, on one side, we have a belief that society should limit and regiment and diminish people, that all humans are not equal, that the power of the rich is legitimate, and that white men with lots of money really ought to run the world.

On the other side, we have a confused vision of a society where all people are equal and free.

Slavery and freedom.