Democrat Andrew Johnson was one of America’s worst presidents, for he set the stage for the racial strife that today’s Democrats encourage and exploit.
Yesterday afternoon, I joined a friend for a dog walking expedition. As we were walking along, we talked about the racial divisions the Left has stoked in America.
“This is all Andrew Johnson’s fault,” I said.
“Wah?” asked my companion.
“Yeah, Andrew Johnson. The moment that Johnson, a Democrat, was sworn in as president after Lincoln’s assassination, he set about undoing the racial component of Reconstruction. The military hung onto its strength in the South, which is why there are so many military bases still operating there. Politically, though, Johnson and his administration backed away from every effort to reform Southern culture. This meant that the losers in the war got to continue their previous behavior of denying blacks all civil rights. In other words, Johnson enabled the defeated Southerners to reduce blacks to a perfect simulacrum of slavery, only this was arguably even worse than actual slavery, for it denied blacks the food and shelter (no matter how meager) that slave owners once provided, while adding in chronic racial terrorism.
“When it came to Germany and Japan after WWII, we did something completely different: We defeated them utterly and completely, and then spent 70 years making sure they renounced the racist, totalitarian cultures that led them to unspeakable brutality in their insane drives for world domination. Had he lived, Lincoln, a Republican, would almost certainly have understood that the Union had to control the south for decades to rework its racist slave culture. I bet that the Democrat Andrew Johnson understood the same, which is why he pulled the feds out of the South as fast as he possibly good.
“Today, the South is probably the best integrated part of the whole United States –”
“– maybe because of the strong military presence,” quickly interjected my friend when I paused for a breath.
“That sounds reasonable,” I said, snatching back the conversational baton. “But it’s also because the South is no longer a Democrat bastion. It’s Republican now.”
“I bet that’s because of all the military bases, too,” my friend mumbled under his breath. I silently agreed, but I really had to take control of my monologue again.
“Whatever. The important point I’m making is that, even though today’s Republican South is way better integrated, sane, and decent than Democrat-controlled Blue bastions across America, the fact that Andrew Johnson’s Democrat policies enabled 100 years of Jim Crow after the Civil War meant that America took way too long to recover from and refute entirely the stain of slavery on a nation that was ‘conceived in liberty.’ And of course, it means today’s Lefties can ignore the fact that America wa the only country in the world that spilled blood to fight slavery.”
And yes, that is the kind of thing my friends and I talk about when we’re not talking dogs and chocolate (my other favorite subjects).
Anyway, I thought it was an excellent conversation (as is my wont when I hold forth). Certainly, the Fates seemed to agree, for this morning I opened my email and found a Prager U video about . . . Reconstruction! It says with incredible elegance the point I was trying to make — that Andrew Johnson (Democrat) allowed the South to win the peace.
If I had to list this nation’s worst presidents, Andrew Johnson would readily have a place in the top five, right up there with Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, James Buchanan, and Woodrow Wilson. It’s no coincidence, either that all five of the worst presidents in America — the most racist, least effective, or most damaging to constitutional governance, were Democrats.
If I were to expand the list to number six, there’s room for another racist, nation-damaging Democrat: Franklin Roosevelt. Scratch a scar on the American body politic and watch Democrat pus ooze out….