Letter: Trump is leading us back 1861, a time of great hate


Some months back, a writer to the Whidbey News-Times wrote about the lack of civility in our nation, about issues confronting national and, presumably, state and local issues. To wit, the very contentious debates and letters to the News-Times about the impacts of EA-18 operations on environmental and human concerns.

As I write this letter, there is yet another letter to the editor in which the writers are calling for greater civility with one another.

From what I have read, and what I have watched and listened to on national news organizations, convinces me that we are very nearly into what another has referred to as a “cold” civil war.

I began to think about our last Civil War, 1861-85, wondering if our lack of civility and hostility towards one another in our time could lead to another civil war or militarization of our streets or pockets of serious armed conflict. My fears may seem overly dramatic to some, and, hopefully so, that we’ve reached that point. But, permit me to make yet another observation — that we have gone way beyond civility in our homeland.

First, though, I would like to talk about a a southerner named Mary Boykin Chestnut. She offered one of the main causes responsible for creating conditions leading to the Civil War, which I feel are analogous to our own times.

When one asks what were the causes of the Civil War of 1861-65, most would say slavery or states’ rights. However, the primary cause Mary offered as the cause of the Civil War in 1861 is the same one to consider in our own time. She said the cause of the “Late Great Unpleasantness,” meaning the Civil War, was that we came to hate each other. While slavery and states’ rights were certainly causes for the Civil War, in truth, these were only the catalysts for arguments that would cause all to embrace and embed within their emotional states their hatred for those who held opposing arguments.

These arguments were those that would cause Americans to coalesce around their hatred towards those who would threaten their views.

In 1861, you were likely for slavery or against it. In 1861, you were probably a proponent of states’ rights. In 1861, you may have embraced both arguments.

In our own time, the term “tribalism” is widely used to describe how most Americans feel about themselves, their identity politics, about themselves and, moreover, a certain view of those who are not of the same thinking … that is not of this tribe but, rather, the other tribe, the opposition, the “enemy.”

In our time, it is most certainly Democrats, and all that they stand for, versus Republicans, notably Donald Trump, and what he … they … stand for.

The Republican Party has definitely become the party of Donald Trump. It is, to my mind, that both sides coalesced in strong opposition, if not hatred, to wit the recent arrest of Cesar Sayoc, the right-wing “nut-job,” and are now in a position of choosing one side or another.

One can not be a “little” for slavery. One can not be a “little” for states’ rights. I would suggest that one can not be a “little” for Donald J. Trump.

Trump is a psychopathic/sociopathic, narcissistic personality. He simply does not possess the ability to be empathetic.

According to Trump’s own lawyers, he is incapable of telling the truth. But what concerns me more than anything else is his attraction to millions of Americans.

Trump is an abomination. He is leading us all back to 1861.

Larry Eaton

Oak Harbor

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