So John Kelly Is A Raving, Ignorant Right Wing Extremist Too
Once, Americans expressed a bit of hope that, when John Kelly took over the job of White House Chief of Staff from Reince Priebus, he might be a voice of reason, moderating the unhinged conspiratorial extremism of Donald Trump.
It’s recently become clear, however, that John Kelly is just as unbalanced and uninformed as his boss. Last week, John Kelly lied about the activities of a member of Congress in order to try to justify Donald Trump’s disrespect of the families of American soldiers who were killed in action.
Now, Kelly seems to have embraced Trump’s white supremacist attitudes. Yesterday, he went on television to declare his admiration for Robert E. Lee, calling him ”honorable”, and declaring that Confederate politicians who worked to continue slavery were people ”of good faith”, saying that, ”the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.”
Kelly praised Robert E. Lee’s decision to abandon the United States and violently attack our nation, saying that Lee showed admirable loyalty to his state. Thank Kelly declared that it’s not right for people living now to look back to the 1800s and say that slavery was wrong, because it was a different historical time – ignoring that large numbers of Americans going back to the very birth of the United States vigorously argued that slavery was an immoral violation of human rights.
What John Kelly said yesterday exhibited astounding ignorance of history. What’s worse is that it revealed John Kelly as a man who is captivated by extremist racist ideology.
If the Civil War was caused by a refusal to compromise, that refusal was on the part of the South. For decades, the North tried to forge compromises with the South, only to have them undermined by Southern politicians at every turn.
As a senator and as President, Abraham Lincoln tried compromise with the South. He began his presidency with declarations that the South could keep its slaves, so long as slavery was not expanded to new states in the west. Even after the South started the Civil War, Lincoln held off on emancipation of slaves, out of the hope that a measured, moderate approach could convince the South to return to the Union.
The Southerners wouldn’t have any of it. The South’s love of slavery was so strong that it wouldn’t accept any compromise at all, seeking to spread enslavement all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
So, the South chose war, and Robert E. Lee, refusing compromise, chose to fight for the South, to preserve slavery and destroy the United States. Robert E. Lee was not an honorable man. He was a violent zealot who was willing to kill and debase hundreds of thousands of people in order to have his way. Robert E. Lee was a traitor who fought against freedom and betrayed the United States.
For John Kelly to embrace a traitor to the United States in defense of racist oppression is particularly chilling, giving the propensity of his boss, Donald Trump, to defend white supremacists, propose authoritarian violations of the Bill of Rights, and collude with foreign powers seeking to erode freedom in the United States.
John Kelly can’t be part of the solution to Donald Trump’s destructive presidency. He’s part of the problem.