PLUS: Ken Burns on the importance of telling America's story on this week's The Warning podcast (full episode)
Steve, I hope you trip is treating you and your son well. I admire how you can intertwine the trip with conveying wonderful morsels of the American experience and the sacrifices of our forebears and the beauty of this great nation. For too many of us, we take it for granted. My self included, so thank you!
“By 1863, the price of war was clear. Lincoln came to Gettysburg to give meaning to so much death and sacrifice. It was a short speech, just 272 words. Read it slowly. Appreciate each phrase. Let it sink in. This is what the MAGA movement wishes to burn down.”
Agreed, but I would also add it’s not just the MAGA movement. Evangelicals and other religious sects, continually try to achieve the same goals. Trump didn’t invent these people or their obtuse and parochial opinions; he just latched on to their ideas and legitimized their worst selves and thoughts, bringing them mainstream.
It’s time to do an autopsy and try to uncover the root causes of these horrific movements that divide this nation, and allow these morally bankrupt souls to continue to drive this nation into the abyss.
Democracy is on the menu and these people are relentless, reckless and ruthless in trying to turn this great nation into a fascist, authoritarian kakistocracy.
They may continually lose the battles, but they haven’t lost the war. It’s a war of attrition, and most of us are fatigued or suffering from PTSD! It’s time to end this now, before it’s too late.
How? Good question; anyone have any ideas?
It is impossible for me to fathom the hate that racists hold within themselves for their fellow men and women. I will never understand it.
The Civil War never ended. The country is still torn apart by prejudice and grievances. This is one of the great sadnesses of Gettysburg.
It seems from most of what I have been reading the term MAGA is misleading, even a cover up, that obscures where Trumps real support comes from. Much comes from the board rooms, the CEO’s, the one percent of all religions and backgrounds. They support the Republican agenda too. They don’t wear the hats, they write the checks in obscure ways to hide there identity. Do you see or hear them speaking up in defense of democracy? This is what we’re up against! Be ready!
Lovely photos from Canada. So glad you're taking the long road back to campus.
On the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington, we are watching a deliberate, calculated rebirth of ignorance and oppression. We see it in the actions of Governors ignoring Supreme Court redistricting rulings. We see it in the actions of banning books and turning school libraries into detention centers. We see it in the rolling back of child labor laws. We see it in voter suppression. We see it in the entire MAGA movement.
Our role is to carry the vision set by Lincoln at Gettysburg, restated by MKL on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and by others calling for freedom, liberty and equality. We have begun the work, as the most recent vote in Ohio demonstrated. The next 17 months (January 2025) will be difficult. I also know we will meet the challenge. We will work for freedom and to heal the nation.
Wow! Thank you for the journey from the town of Nelson to the Gettysburg address, to MLK at the Lincoln memorial to Ken Burns. I always want to suggest you start a breakout travel Susbstack, but you weave it all together beautifully here.
Just watched your Ken Burns interview .
The rise of MAGA began before Trump road down that escalator in Trump Tower. It began mostly in the white evangelical population with their acceptance of QAnon as the Word. They believed, due to QAnon that Trump would bring white Christianity to rule over America and reclaim white dominance with the aid of God. With white evangelicals being somewhere between 15% and 25% of the population and/or 40% of the Republican Party, it's no wonder that weak self-serving politicians follow them, and we found ourselves in a very bad place. I lost some friends due to their new belief and I know they will never return to us having lost their minds and souls to a false god. How to solve the problem? We began solving it with the 2020 election and if we continue to do so, it will be self-solving, although it will take time. Yes, it will be solved but those people will still be with us, those who can be easily swayed into some false truth. Keep a watchful eye into the future.
Excellent discussion with Ken Burns.
The photos you share reveal a pristine world where the daily bump and grind fade into the recesses.
As I read your column this morning, I was compelled to think about and reflect on yesterday's triple murders of three black people by a white male supremacist in Jacksonville, Florida. I do not know which is greater, my outrage or my dismay and disgust. That "tide of war" about which you write so eloquently is being turned upon us once again. As a retired U.S. Marine friend said to me years ago, "Vince, we are like rats. We eat our own." You write, "Freedom and liberty are a moral proposition." There are those among us who would tighten the reins around that freedom, that moral proposition, choking the wind and promise out of the lives of the everyday citizen and our institutions. The brick and mortar that formed our country's foundation are beginning to crumble. What many of us believed or wanted to believe to be true about our country has become naked to the world as the ultimate lie; a falsehood. The blood spilled at Gettysburg (51,000) and Chickamauga (35,000) represent the two bloodiest battles during our Civil War. There are those among us who swoon for the opportunity today to give witness to yet more spillage of blood. The traitors among us do not see our United States as a melding of diversity and of difference. They see our country as belonging to them, and them alone, at the disposal of the "other". That “them”, as you know well, is white.
Thank you, thank you.
Thank you for the reminder that in many ways, the quest for Equality goes on . The backlash is as ugly as ever.
Trump has groomed this fear and hatred as much as George Wallace did. Only George Wallace was a little more overt.
The dog whistles of he ( Trump)and his followers are constant and shrill with the same frequency throughout the years.
Trump and his sordid followers have more media coverage. George Wallace was a known entity, a racist who made no bones about it.
Trump is a slick and manipulative huckster. But he is no different at heart than the fearful hater, George Wallace.
Thank you again Steve for putting all this into context. Safe travels!
Listening to Martin Luther King's speech during these times when it seems the very essence of our country hangs in the balance, what hits me is that this speech at its core is a plea for brotherhood. That's his dream - that we can live together in brotherhood. My God, why can't we?
Words alone do not hold the importance of meaning. However if you put them together into sentences the true meaning of words shines through. I believe the great orators in history were able to transcend sentences into movements and influence minds and causes. There are only a few speeches that stand up to history and and influence nations. The Gettysburg Address and the I have a dream speech are 2 examples of the power of language that move nations and change the world. They both have influenced young minds to think and at the same time to honor. This is why fascism and trumpism can not sustain itself. They rely on lies rather than truth and lies do not honor. Truth is the only way forward, It honors the past, the present and the future. Nations die when there is no future and nations are never build on lies because they require a foundation of truth.
"You know, one of the things that I admire most about you is your righteous indignation about the state of things, whether it be politics, or some aspect of American history." Ken Burns, speaking to Steve Schmidt. Is a higher compliment possible, considering that it comes from the greatest historian of U.S. history? I think not.
Can you double check this link? It's not working. Thank you!