Extreme hyperbole.

Source: Jose Nino

On September 9, 2020 University of Virginia history Professor Elizabeth Varon penned an op-ed for The Washington Post entitled “Trump’s 2020 playbook is coming straight from Southern enslavers.”

Ashley Carnahan of Campus Reform noted how Varon “discussed the history of abolitionism in the 19th century and how it impacted the Civil War” and alluded to the “simple, powerful lesson” that Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs understood regarding racial conflict in America. She asserted that both abolitionist figures understood that “racism and slavery, not abolitionism, were the root causes of American strife.”

Carnahan argued that White Southerners in that era were attempting to spark a race war between the North and the South. “Even as they [White Southerners] violently shattered the nation, secessionists continued to cast abolitionists as the disunionists, arguing that the agenda of emancipation and racial equality was just a Trojan horse for Northerners’ ruthless bid for power,” she declared.

Varnon likened Trump’s rhetoric concerning the protests and unrest in cities like Portland and Seattle to that of Southern enslavers who tried to suppress the abolitionist movements.

“In arguing that radical protesters endanger U.S. law and order, Trump is echoing the attacks leveled by Southern enslavers against abolitionists. The purpose of such tactics, then and now, is to confuse Americans about causes and effects — and to serve notice that those in power flatly refuse to cede any ground to progressive reformers.”

Alex Briegel, a UVA student, said to Campus Reform that “the article certainly serves as an entertaining read recounting the history of and battle between nineteenth-century abolitionists and traditionalists.”

He added, “whether Trump and various right-wing media are intentionally using these tactics or whether this is merely a coincidence is a question this article cannot answer. Still, Varnon illustrates an interesting point and each of us should determine for ourselves what this means for our vote.”

The history regarding the Civil War is often cartoonish at best thanks to the politically correct history curricula present in American universities. While the South was interested in preserving slavery, there were strong economic and cultural motives for its separation. The conflict was the final stage of regional tensions that had its origin during the constitutional debates. Additionally, the North was initially more concerned about maintaining the integrity of the nation rather than going on a moral crusade.

Civil conflict of that nature is not exceptional when looking at the history of nation states, which are often marked by civil conflict in their development as states. Like all nations, had its fair share of growing pain. Nonetheless, it has prevailed and made amends for previous errors. Unfortunately, the radical Left is more fixated with the past and willing to destroy all the positive aspects of America and its history just to prove a point.