Last week I was provoked by political and social developments to write something of my feelings and this blog was my best opportunity, so I added some remarks at the top of an already published post, and apologized for its being so little, but it was what I could do to stand up for the values I have lived by and which are now threatened. I will continue to add these notes to already planned and written posts, which may still be of some interest.General and President Ulysses S Grant
When Lincoln finally found Grant one of the things he said about him was “I like him. He fights.” Previous generals had waffled and prevaricated. Grant knew what this war was and what was expected of him. The loss of life was appalling. So far you may think I speak in the name of Trump, his supporters, and the legitimately aggrieved of our country. I do not. Why I do not is as much or more to do with what happened after. At Appomattox, Lee and his army were treated with dignity and humanity. They were allowed to go home without reprisals. They were allowed to keep their ceremonial weapons and such of their others as they might need to feed their families in the future. Lee himself was treated with quiet retrospect.
As a president, Grant was the last to defend Lincoln’s reconstruction policies which might have healed the wounds and the gap between the modernist industrial north and the agrarian traditional south and gone some way to lease us a rational rational policy which might have done much to relieve our present vicious hostility to Blacks, Muslims, Latinos, and others whose rights and very lives we put at naught.
It was not to be, We were left to the mercy of greed, corruption, naked self-interest, and the worst ravages of market capitalism. And the Ku Klux Klan and the horrors of violence and evil. It is important to remember that Grant was a humble person. He slept in his clothes. He wore few symbols of his authority.
I am no historian. People better than I will dispute with me. But look at what we face now. That may be what we deserve, but who does it benefit? I’m too old to have much at stake except my life, what little there is of it, and my livelihood, both of which were to go to benefit not me but my — no, our — children and theirs. It is they for whom I weep.
You can turn off the background music with the button in the upper right corner. One button is the Chinese character for chi, breath or life. The other is a crushed chi.
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