On Thanksgiving 2016, the Civil War is heavy on my mind. You might ask “which civil war” and that would be a good question. The purpose of this writing is to propose a new Great Triumvirate similar to the original one formed by statesman Henry Clay of Kentucky, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina.
Do we even have any statesmen around the current messy political/policy system? Possible new triumvirate members include Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Governor John Kaisch, Senator Bernie Sanders, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Secretary Colin Powell, Michelle Obama, Secretary Condi Rice and Governor Jon Huntsman. Personally, I feel these people love righteousness and compromise more than political parties and one-upsmanship.
When you live in a place with extremely opposing opinions, you need a Henry Clay, the Great Compromiser, who would seek reasonable solutions and avoid taking the nation over the cliff. Yes, some folks have a “my way or the highway” mentality and actually love bickering, conflict and war. Remember, Clay brokered compromises that settled disputes between free states and slave states…putting off the coming civil war.
With all of this current talk about people leaving the country, we should remember that Clay was president of the movement that created Liberia, an African colony for free American Blacks, because he was a slaveholder who knew the institution would be a problem for a young nation. Dr. Condi Rice says today that racism is America’s birth defect. I say we will learn to work together as brothers or perish as fools.
We can’t just say “Civil War” anymore because there are several in my mind. The Civil War of 1864 still simmers in the blood of many southerners. Those confederates wish the South won the war and wish Blacks were still slaves, all dead or sent back to Africa. Arguing with them is a fool’s errand but make no mistakes about it…that war goes on today in hearts and minds.
In the Black community, we have an ongoing civil war over the role of government. On one side, we have people who think the government will protect and promote them…government is my daddy. If you think government cares about you, you should grow up and that liberal mentality stops us from becoming who we really should be. On the other side, you have my friends who think Black improvement in this nation always started with a well-designed and well executed personal life which leads to economic power similar to the visions of Marcus Garvey and Malcom X.
Another serious civil war in my life is the cultural battle between traditionalists and the hip hop culture. As I often write, hip hop is doing more inadvertently to destroy the Black community than the Klan. While I support artistic freedom of expression, the glamorization of thugs, crime and street life is a cancer on the minds of our youth….it’s the inmates running the asylum.
Inside the Democrat Party, we see a battle between the real liberals who supported Bernie Sanders and the southern old school Blacks. Remember, the South’s support of Hillary Clinton is the only reason she didn’t fall to Sanders in the primary. I wonder who is left in the Dem Party since Dixiecrats are long gone, Rust Belt blue collar Whites just left and church-attending Black southerners are uncomfortable with some social issues.
The Republican Party is also in a civil war because the country club establishment has been overtaken by the fiery “my way or the highway” people. Some of these people think the recent election results were the start of a second actual civil war.
I wish I knew what Henry Clay would say about our nation today. For the record, some of those free Blacks who when to Liberia ended up oppressing the Africans they found there…the hell you say.
In 1991, the rock band Guns N’ Roses had a song called “Civil War” that started with a sound snippet from the movie Cool Hand Luke “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. I don’t like it any more than you men.”
We don’t have statesmen anymore. The people who I think should be in a new Triumvirate should function outside of government because as President Reagan said “government is the problem.” Failure to communicate has some Americans thinking they are more American than others, has some people thinking government has a blank check to support their weak behinds and has working people thinking that voting isn’t important.
Hell, America almost feels like Luke rolling down the hill in that movie. But, America always gets back up. Adversity made this great nation and we are still a work in progress.