Quote of the Day: If You Think Democrats Today are Delusional…

 

“Now, I’m not obscuring the fact that the feeling of the British public is against the system of slavery, but I don’t see any reason at all why this sentiment should stand in the way of commercial advantages. Great Britain trades with Brazil, which is a slaveholding country, and Great Britain is, moreover the largest customer of the Southern states for the production of slave labor.”  –Sen. Robert Barnwell Rhett (D–SC)

This statement attributed to Senator Rhett was beyond delusional, but it was representative of the beliefs that many secessionists in South Carolina maintained in 1860 before secession. As Democrats, they were convinced that G-d was on their side; that importing slaves from Africa was their right (even though it had been ruled illegal by the US government); that even though the British despised slavery and had for many years, they would still do business with slave traders—Rhett along with his fellow secessionists, the fire-eaters, were convinced that secession would be a just process and fairly simple to enact, particularly if Great Britain were on their side.

Needless to say, they were greatly disappointed that their assumptions were not only incorrect but wildly misconceived. The Civil War was just around the corner. One only has to read about the horrors of Reconstruction, too, to know what men will do to seek vengeance.

*     *     *     *

I offer up this quotation to those who can’t understand how the Democrats (in the form of Leftism) live in a contrived reality. The government representatives keep making the same foolish decisions over and over again. They believe they have justice on their side, and somehow, they will be able to carry through on their plans and promises. Day after day we watch their incompetence demonstrated through ill-advised policies; year after year we’ve watched them rely on their senseless ideology and poor judgment. And the mindless violence and destruction of the past year only validates our observations.

You’d think we were living in 1860 all over again.

Hat tip to @seawriter who postulated that we’ve seen this kind of craziness and violence previously in this country, and recommended this book, Our Man in Charleston by Christopher Dickey.

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  1. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Susan Quinn: You’d think we were living in 1860 all over again.

    Prophetic?

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Just in time–an article that tells us that many of the government entities that decided to defund the police now are re-instating or increasing their budgets for law enforcement. I wonder if the huge increase in crime has anything to with their decisions?

    • #2
  3. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I wonder if the huge increase in crime has anything to with their decisions?

    Not that most of them will admit.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I wonder if the huge increase in crime has anything to with their decisions?

    Not that most of them will admit.

    For a progressive, screwing up means never having to say you’re sorry!

    • #4
  5. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I wonder if the huge increase in crime has anything to with their decisions?

    Not that most of them will admit.

    For a progressive, screwing up means never having to say you’re sorry!

    And the people who vote for them never admit it is an issue. It is the voters who are delusional. 

    • #5
  6. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Interesting quotation, Susan. I’m not sure how much it applies to progressives, specifically, and if perhaps we should all take the lesson to heart. While I think folks on the left routinely embrace ideas that history and common sense both suggest are bad for us — socialism, racism, puritanism — I don’t know that we get to call the pro-slave South “progressive” in any meaningful sense.

    But your larger point, that seemingly irrational people might be acting in ways that make sense within the contexts of their fanciful universes — yes, that’s very believable. And it might provide us a nice alternative to simply assuming that other people are evil.

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    I don’t know that we get to call the pro-slave South “progressive” in any meaningful sense.

    I don’t think Progressivism was necessarily practiced back them, but most of the secessionists were Democrats and they were the ones who viciously attacked black Republican voters after the Civil War. You make a good point, Hank. Maybe I need to change Progressives to Democrats.

    • #7
  8. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    Rhett is  right, just not about the UK.  He is describing modern US business dealing with China.  No matter how many innocent people they butcher, they cannot resist that sweet Chinese cash.  In fact most businesses probably wish they had the Chinese system here.

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    Rhett is right, just not about the UK. He is describing modern US business dealing with China. No matter how many innocent people they butcher, they cannot resist that sweet Chinese cash. In fact most businesses probably wish they had the Chinese system here.

    Great example, @omegapaladin! And what about Biden calling Putin a killer and then holding a summit with him?

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    I don’t know that we get to call the pro-slave South “progressive” in any meaningful sense.

    I don’t think Progressivism was necessarily practiced back them, but most of the secessionists were Democrats and they were the ones who viciously attacked black Republican voters after the Civil War. You make a good point, Hank. Maybe I need to change Progressives to Democrats.

    The distinctions between an “evil” person and an “evil” act have always annoyed me. In terms of the South, the secessionists believed that the black slaves were less than human; I think they were both deluded and evil. I think one is obliged to think carefully about the distinction between the person and the act, and the word “evil,” shouldn’t be thrown around carelessly; at the same time, it might be too easy to rescue a person from the evil label when they should be held accountable for the evil of their act. I hope that makes sense.

    • #10
  11. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    But your larger point, that seemingly irrational people might be acting in ways that make sense within the contexts of their fanciful universes — yes, that’s very believable.

    In fact, that understanding comes quickly to a person who works with, or has frequent contact with, those who suffer from mental illness.  Very often, their bizarre behavior is completely consistent with, and they’re simply following, their internal compass, which tells them that they actually are Napoleon, or Jesus Christ, or whom-or-whatever they believe about themselves.

    I’m not saying that everyone who believes something which I believe to be obviously wrong, or clearly misguided, is mentally ill.  That’s certainly not the case.  But going too far down the path of understanding, to the point where I say, “well, that’s your truth, so it must be just as valid as my truth,” is, IMHO, a bridge too far.

    Justice Scalia used to write on opinions he disagreed with, but with which could find no real basis for dissenting, “Stupid, but Constitutional.”  I judge the outbursts of many on the Left, in the context of what @henryracette calls their “fanciful universes,” “Delusional, but Consistent.”

    • #11
  12. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    ***

    This is the Quote of the Day. Our sign-up sheet for May is here.  May 30 is still available, with free shipping!

    June’s sign-up sheet is here, and the days are going fast.  Get ’em while they’re hot!

    If you’re new at this game, it’s a easy way to get your feet wet and start a conversation; if you’re an old-timer, you already know the ropes.  Either way, please sign up to speak up.

    Another ongoing project to encourage new voices is our Group Writing Project. May’s theme is “May Day, Mayday, May Days.” If you’re looking to share your own thoughts rather than those of others, please sign up for Group Writing too!

    • #12
  13. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Just in time–an article that tells us that many of the government entities that decided to defund the police now are re-instating or increasing their budgets for law enforcement. I wonder if the huge increase in crime has anything to with their decisions?

    I found this story delicious in the schadenfreude I felt when I read it.  

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/atlanta-defund-the-police-backer-has-car-stolen-by-kids-in-broad-daylight-reports?fbclid=IwAR1Tp5rx0d7yunSQTW7pWfDl81vBOc9VoGxxsaGm0asiDAnQnY5CVbFSnUg

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Just in time–an article that tells us that many of the government entities that decided to defund the police now are re-instating or increasing their budgets for law enforcement. I wonder if the huge increase in crime has anything to with their decisions?

    I found this story delicious in the schadenfreude I felt when I read it.

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/atlanta-defund-the-police-backer-has-car-stolen-by-kids-in-broad-daylight-reports?fbclid=IwAR1Tp5rx0d7yunSQTW7pWfDl81vBOc9VoGxxsaGm0asiDAnQnY5CVbFSnUg

    Now everything about this story is so sad. He’s not filing charges against the kids, because, you know, they are victims of poverty. This man, running for mayor is, also under indictment for other charges. Thanks, @tex929rr.

    • #14
  15. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Susan Quinn: You’d think we were living in 1860 all over again.

    No, this is 1919 all over again.  The Progressive Era.  Post-pandemic.  Brain-damaged, racist president in office.  Communism everywhere.  Rioting and strife in the streets.  The Karens of America banned alcohol sales. 

    • #15
  16. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    While I think folks on the left routinely embrace ideas that history and common sense both suggest are bad for us — socialism, racism, puritanism — I don’t know that we get to call the pro-slave South “progressive” in any meaningful sense.

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I don’t think Progressivism was necessarily practiced back them, but most of the secessionists were Democrats and they were the ones who viciously attacked black Republican voters after the Civil War.

    I would argue that Progressivism was practiced back then. Progressivism relies on the conception that everything must be centrally and mindfully organized for efficient delivery of whatever it is that you are doing. There is the central organizing entity and the organized carrying out the dictates of the organizing entity. The “morality” of such organization beyond efficiency is the superior knowledge or status of the organizing entity over the organized. How does this not fit a plantation? And given the history of what happens over the long term to Progressive societies, how little comfort there is in the initial claims that such organization and loss of individual agency is justified by the “elevation” or “good” for the organized? German Progressivism which was the kernel that seeded all other societies really is Monarchy re-formed. Our leaders might not be any more determined by inheritance, but we certainly have reformulated it as closely as possible by our credentialing system and the organizing forces described in Charles Murray’s Coming Apart. The delusion is that the loss of agency is moral and that there is no consequence to taking that agency.

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):
    I would argue that Progressivism was practiced back then. Progressivism relies on the conception that everything must be centrally and mindfully organized for efficient delivery of whatever it is that you are doing. There is the central organizing entity and the organized carrying out the dictates of the organizing entity. The “morality” of such organization beyond efficiency is the superior knowledge or status of the organizing entity over the organized. How does this not fit a plantation? And given the history of what happens over the long term to Progressive societies, how little comfort there is in the initial claims that such organization and loss of individual agency is justified by the “elevation” or “good” for the organized? German Progressivism which was the kernel that seeded all other societies really is Monarchy re-formed. Our leaders might not be any more determined by inheritance, but we certainly have reformulated it as closely as possible by our credentialing system and the organizing forces described in Charles Murray’s Coming Apart. The delusion is that the loss of agency is moral and that there is no consequence to taking that agency.

    An excellent clarification, @rodin. Yes, those actions and behaviors were present in the 19th century, but I was alluding to the fact that there wasn’t technically a political party that avowed Progressivism until the 20th  century. And I highlighted your closing sentence, because that is precisely what the secessionists did to black Americans: deprive them of their agency. Thanks!

    • #17
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I wonder if the huge increase in crime has anything to with their decisions?

    Not that most of them will admit.

    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is unpersuaded. She wants the Chicago PD eschew foot pursuits of people unless the police have probable cause. Now, my personal dealings with the police of late haven’t led to any foot pursuits, and back when I was younger, there was nothing probable about their cause, but somehow I doubt that the CPD is chasing people who don’t need to be chased.

    • #18
  19. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Susan Quinn: One only has to read about the horrors of Reconstruction, too, to know what men will do to seek vengeance.

    I thought the horrors came during the post-Reconstruction era.  I consider all the KKK stuff and Jim Crow to be the horrors.  Which horrors do you mean?

    • #19
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: One only has to read about the horrors of Reconstruction, too, to know what men will do to seek vengeance.

    I thought the horrors came during the post-Reconstruction era. I consider all the KKK stuff and Jim Crow to be the horrors. Which horrors do you mean?

    Racial violence in the Reconstruction period took three major forms: urban riots, interpersonal fights, and organized vigilante groups. There were riots in southern cities several times during Reconstruction. The most notable were the riots in Memphis and New Orleans in 1866, but other large-scale urban conflicts erupted in places including Laurens, South Carolina in 1870; Colfax, Louisiana in 1873; another in New Orleans in 1874; Yazoo City, Mississippi in 1875; and Hamburg, South Carolina in 1876. Southern cities grew rapidly after the war as migrants from the countryside—particularly freed slaves—flocked to urban centers. Cities became centers of Republican control. But white conservatives chafed at the influx of black residents and the establishment of biracial politics. In nearly every conflict, white conservatives initiated violence in reaction to Republican rallies or conventions or elections in which black men were to vote. The death tolls of these conflicts remain incalculable—and victims were overwhelmingly black.

    For more

    • #20
  21. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    I understand your point, but think you’re missing a few things on your history. In 1859, there was a confrontation called the Pig War or Pig and Potato War between the United Kingdom and the United States.

    When the CSA was formed, the UK made a declaration of neutrality, with allowed Confederate ships access to ports, the same as the USA had. They were happy to continue trade.

    In 1861, a Yankee naval officer nearly provoked a war between the United States and Great Britain in the Trent Affair. And France was prepared to back Britain. Luckily Seward was a good Secretary of State.

    Senator Rhett’s position was not terribly far-fetched.

    • #21
  22. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: One only has to read about the horrors of Reconstruction, too, to know what men will do to seek vengeance.

    I thought the horrors came during the post-Reconstruction era. I consider all the KKK stuff and Jim Crow to be the horrors. Which horrors do you mean?

    Racial violence in the Reconstruction period took three major forms: urban riots, interpersonal fights, and organized vigilante groups. There were riots in southern cities several times during Reconstruction. The most notable were the riots in Memphis and New Orleans in 1866, but other large-scale urban conflicts erupted in places including Laurens, South Carolina in 1870; Colfax, Louisiana in 1873; another in New Orleans in 1874; Yazoo City, Mississippi in 1875; and Hamburg, South Carolina in 1876. Southern cities grew rapidly after the war as migrants from the countryside—particularly freed slaves—flocked to urban centers. Cities became centers of Republican control. But white conservatives chafed at the influx of black residents and the establishment of biracial politics. In nearly every conflict, white conservatives initiated violence in reaction to Republican rallies or conventions or elections in which black men were to vote. The death tolls of these conflicts remain incalculable—and victims were overwhelmingly black.

    For more

    The federal government should have done a lot more to enforce Constitutional rights.  Things were worse after Reconstruction ended in 1876.  I find the use of “conservative” in the article interesting.  It does not fit with my definition of “conservative” (conservative is risk averse), but fits with many others (conserving means preserving). 

     

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I understand your point, but think you’re missing a few things on your history. In 1859, there was a confrontation called the Pig War or Pig and Potato War between the United Kingdom and the United States.

    When the CSA was formed, the UK made a declaration of neutrality, with allowed Confederate ships access to ports, the same as the USA had. They were happy to continue trade.

    In 1861, a Yankee naval officer nearly provoked a war between the United States and Great Britain in the Trent Affair. And France was prepared to back Britain. Luckily Seward was a good Secretary of State.

    Senator Rhett’s position was not terribly far-fetched.

    I’m puzzled by your examples, @arahant. I don’t understand the relationship between the Pig War and the current state of affairs in the U.S. between the secessionists and unionists. And I also found this on Wikipedia:

    The UK remained officially neutral throughout the American Civil War (1861–1865). It legally recognised the belligerent status of the Confederate States of America (CSA) but never recognised it as a nation and neither signed a treaty with it nor ever exchanged ambassadors. Over 90 percent of Confederate trade with Britain ended, causing a severe shortage of cotton by 1862. Private British blockade runners sent munitions and luxuries to Confederate ports in return for cotton and tobacco. In Manchester, the massive reduction of available American cotton caused an economic disaster referred to as the Lancashire Cotton Famine.[1] Despite the high unemployment, some Manchester cotton workers refused out of principle to process any cotton from America, leading to direct praise from President Lincoln, whose statue in Manchester bears a plaque which quotes his appreciation for the textile workers in “helping abolish slavery”.[2] Top British officials debated offering to mediate in the first 18 months, which the Confederacy wanted but the United States strongly rejected.

    The British elite tended to support the Confederacy, but ordinary people tended to support the Union. Large-scale trade continued between Britain and the whole of the US. The US shipped grain to Britain, and Britain sent manufactured items and munitions to the US. Immigration continued into the US, with many Britons volunteering for its army.[quantify] British trade with the Confederacy fell over 90% from the prewar period, with a small amount of cotton going to Britain and some munitions and luxury goods slipped in by numerous small blockade runners. They were operated and funded by British private interests. They were legal under international law and caused no dispute between the US and Britain.[3]

    These outcomes seem to contradict the formal intentions of the UK,  and neutrality wasn’t declared until 1861-1865, after Rhett’s declaration. I don’t think he had a reason to be optimistic.

    • #23
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):
    The federal government should have done a lot more to enforce Constitutional rights.  Things were worse after Reconstruction ended in 1876.  I find the use of “conservative” in the article interesting.  It does not fit with my definition of “conservative” (conservative is risk averse), but fits with many others (conserving means preserving).

    It got messy because some people supported Grant sending in troops to help establish order, and others hated it. I also think there were Republicans who supported black Republicans and others did not.

    • #24
  25. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I’m puzzled by your examples, @arahant. I don’t understand the relationship between the Pig War and the current state of affairs in the U.S. between the secessionists and unionists.

    The point was that the UK did not have great relations with the United States in general in the Nineteenth Century. That confrontation happened only one year before Senator Rhett’s statement. The Southern States had much better relations wit the UK, mainly due to commercial interests.

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    And I also found this on Wikipedia:

    Most of the trade ended not because the mill workers or owners weren’t willing, it happened because of the blockade by the United States. As the quote says, British blockade runners got through to help supply the Confederacy. While the UK did remain neutral, it was a much closer thing than you implied above.

    Going back to your point about modern Progressives, I agree with it. But the Southern belief that the UK might intervene was not nearly as delusional.

    • #25
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Arahant (View Comment):
    Going back to your point about modern Progressives, I agree with it. But the Southern belief that the UK might intervene was not nearly as delusional.

    We can agree to disagree. ;-)

    • #26
  27. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Percival (View Comment):

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I wonder if the huge increase in crime has anything to with their decisions?

    Not that most of them will admit.

    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is unpersuaded. She wants the Chicago PD eschew foot pursuits of people unless the police have probable cause. Now, my personal dealings with the police of late haven’t led to any foot pursuits, and back when I was younger, there was nothing probable about their cause, but somehow I doubt that the CPD is chasing people who don’t need to be chased.

    Are you kidding?  Not only are they chasing people just for fun, they’re also shooting black people just for target practice!

    • #27
  28. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Just in time–an article that tells us that many of the government entities that decided to defund the police now are re-instating or increasing their budgets for law enforcement. I wonder if the huge increase in crime has anything to with their decisions?

    I found this story delicious in the schadenfreude I felt when I read it.

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/atlanta-defund-the-police-backer-has-car-stolen-by-kids-in-broad-daylight-reports?fbclid=IwAR1Tp5rx0d7yunSQTW7pWfDl81vBOc9VoGxxsaGm0asiDAnQnY5CVbFSnUg

    Why didn’t he call the social workers?

    • #28
  29. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Just in time–an article that tells us that many of the government entities that decided to defund the police now are re-instating or increasing their budgets for law enforcement. I wonder if the huge increase in crime has anything to with their decisions?

    If those cities think they’re going to get back all the cops who left because they were being dissed for a year or more, they really are crazy.

    • #29
  30. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Just in time–an article that tells us that many of the government entities that decided to defund the police now are re-instating or increasing their budgets for law enforcement. I wonder if the huge increase in crime has anything to with their decisions?

    They have to have known there would be this increase in crime if they defunded the police and hobbled them in other ways. 

    • #30