From April of 1961 to May of 1865, the bloodiest conflict in the United States took place. This was the Civil War.
The states that fought for the North were: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin. To these, we can add Kentucky and Missouri, which were border states that stayed with the Union.
The states that fought for the South were: South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi.
The war was fought due to many differences between the North and South, including Southern independence, states’ rights and, yes, slavery. The president at this time was Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves in 1863.
Present day. It would appear that the United States is still having a civil war, again over ideology and the rights of the people, but this time with the Democrats fighting for justice and the Republicans doing what they can to stop the progress on social issues.
We start with what has been termed the Republican “War on Women”. The states that have been pushing through the most stringet laws against reproduction rights and birth control are Nebraska, Missouri, Texas, Georgia, Iowa, South Dakota, Indiana, Lousiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kansas, Arizona, Florida and Virginia. Compare this list of states with the list of states who fought for the South. The other two states with harsh laws on abortion and a woman’s right to choose are New Jersey and Pennsylvania; while both are Northern states, they are both ruled with a Republican majority.
For example, Kansas has a bill to require consent from both parents if a one is under 18, unless family sexual abuse is involved. So, I guess if you have been sexually abused by someone in your family, it is fine to have an abortion. The Kansas governor also wants to make it harder to open clinics or even have the option available.
Texas has a bill that mandates forced ultrasound; this was put forth by their last governor. Arkansas does not want abortion covered under any insurance policy, thereby forcing women to purchase a separate rider, “just in case”. Meanwhile, Oklahoma and Kentucky would require *mandatory* ultrasounds and the woman *must* look at it; if she refuses, the technician is required to describe the image to her. Ohio has the heartbeat bill, which is effectively a ban on abortion.
Let’s not forget Arizona who wants takes it a step further by saying that a pregnancy starts on the date of a woman’s last period, which is at least two weeks before an egg could even be fertilized! This by a governor who is a woman. (This always shocks me, still.)
There are laws being pushed through that ban contraception, push abstinence education (which we know does not really work), and those that outrageously criminalize the woman if her fetus dies even from accidents such as falling or forcing a woman to carry a dead fetus; these laws being based on fetal rights and personhood.
These are just a few examples; you can read more here at Politicsusa.com. Reading this will let you see that the rights of the woman, as is normal in a patriarchal society and culture, mean nothing. This is just one political party continuing to try and control women and push through a religious agenda, forgetting that this country has a separation of church and state. Really.
Moving away from reproductive rights, we go to the new voting restrictions. In this year of a presidental race being dominated by a misogynistic bully and baffoon, we no longer have a Voting Rights Act. The majority of the states that have enacted tougher and stricter voting restrictions are Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia. I think you can once again see that these states again coincide with the states that fought for the South.
African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities tend to vote Democrat, and they voted in droves in 2008. In states where there was a majority of African-Americans voting, seven of them passed laws making it harder for them to vote. In 12 states, where there is a majority of Hispanics voting, there are nine new voting restrictions. These restrictions including showing a photo ID, ending same day voter registration, restricting registration drives, and closing polls.
North Carolina has the harshest new restrictions on voting. This article at Americanprospect.com has more on these voter restrictions and the states they involve. Once more, it is no surprise to find that they are once again those same Southern states.
We move on now to transgender laws. This, too, is all about individual rights as human beings. This is the new battleground for social justice. In Alabama, if you use the bathroom you identify with, you face up to six months in jail. By this time, we all know about the North Carolina bill that forces one to use the bathroom of their “birth” gender and not the one they identify with. Not only this, it also prohibits cities and town from enacting laws to protect the LGBQT community. They are facing huge fallout from this, but show no signs of relenting. There is more at this article on cnn.com.
It would appear that the South, as illustrated in the above examples, are once again focused on taking away the rights and dignity of the individual, just as they did with slavery in the years prior to the Civil War. The Northern states tend to identify more with progressive ideas, such as Massachusetts being the first state to embrace same-sex marriage and affordable health care.
We can expand this to include animal rights, gun rights and climate change. These, too, run on political/state lines, although how anyone can deny climate change totally escapes me.
I am certainly not advocating a war, as I am firmly against violence of any kind; however, it appalls me that our country, over 150 years later, is still fighting the same idealogical war.
Unfortunately, I have no solution. The country is in deadlock around the ideas of racism, misogyny, social justice, animal rights, caring for our environment. I believe we will continue to have this schism until all everyone, everywhere, concludes that each person should be treated with respect and dignity, that they are entitled to fundamental individual rights, no matter their race, religion, gender. Then, and only then, will this country be able to unite, heal and move forward into the future.