Sunday, June 01, 2008

The New Copperheads

by Bruce Walker - June 1st, 2008 - The American Thinker

During the Civil War, when the issues of right and wrong were clear, one of President Lincoln’s appointees, General George McClelland, betrayed him. The anti-war Democrats to whom McClelland pandered were called “Copperheads.” They rallied around McClelland to defeat the president politically, when they could not defeat the armies of America militarily. McClelland had a pretty high opinion of himself. He knew what Lincoln did not: That the war [could] not be won, that giving up and bringing the troops home was the only sensible answer, and that the president was not much of a leader.

Democrats overwhelmingly supported this type of defeatism and these Copperheads would shrink from almost nothing to insure that the war ended, whatever the sacrifice already made to preserve the Union and whatever the costs of allowing the Union to dissolve. These Copperheads did not really care about moral issues, like Lincoln and his Republicans did. Slavery was an abomination in the South and democracy scarcely existed, but McClelland and the Copperheads did not care.

The public approval ratings for Lincoln – if there had been such ratings in 1864 – would have shown him as the least popular president in history. The mainstream media of the time pilloried him mercilessly. Although Lincoln was intelligent, lesser men, like McClelland, considered him a buffoon. Although Lincoln had an almost transcendent nobility, lesser men, like McClelland, considered him no more than a crass pol. Although Lincoln would be judged by history to be great, lesser men, like McClelland, judged him to be ordinary.

There are times when people see similarities in a name from two different epochs and the pattern does not fit. Other times the similarity is just so amazing it cannot be denied. This article about the two McClellan's and their Democrat supporters is one of those.

Political parties do seem to have a DNA that stays constant over long periods. The Democrats were the racist anti-war party of the 19th Century and they continue to be the racist anti-war party of the 21st Century.

The New Copperheads. Great analogy. Great article.


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