Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Dog Whistle? What Dog Whistle? I Don’t Hear Any Dog Whistle!

Posted in Media, Memory by Andy Hall on December 21, 2012

Lots of folks have made the observation that the Confederate heritage movement is, at its core, far more about modern politics and culture wars than it is about events of 1861-65; the “War of Northern Aggression” often serves as a convenient proxy for beliefs and positions and resentments that are firmly rooted in the late 20th/early21st century, and past events are refigured explicitly in those terms. I came across a good example of that recently, in Facebook posting from Searaven Press, a publishing outfit that cranks out a prodigious number of works by Lochlainn Seabrook, titles like Honest Jeff & Dishonest Abe: A Southern Children’s Guide to The Civil War, and The Great Impersonator! 99 Reasons to Dislike Abraham Lincoln. (To be fair, Seabrook’s not entirely Lincoln-centric; he also wrote UFOs and Aliens: The Complete Guidebook.)

Here is Seabrook’s promo for The Constitution of the Confederate States of America Explained: A Clause-by-Clause Study of the South’s Magna Carta:

It was 152 years ago today that conservative South Carolina sought to preserve the Constitution against the big government policies of Illinois liberal Abraham Lincoln, and bravely seceded from the Union. God bless South Carolina, and God bless the South!

Seabrook may or may not be much of a scholar, but give him this: he knows his market.




7 Responses

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  1. Cotton Boll Conspiracy said, on December 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Ironically, the Abraham Lincoln elected president in 1860 would likely be classified among the more hardcore of modern-day conservatives. That’s why you can’t apply modern political labels to politicians of 150 years ago. But you’re right, Seabrook is simply appealing to his target market with the simplistic concept of liberal/Illinois/Lincoln = bad.

    • Andy Hall said, on December 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      Seabrook’s promo ignores the fact that (1) South Carolina seceded more than two months before Lincoln took office, so he had enacted no policies whatsoever; that (2) both Lincoln and the Republocan party had committed themselves not to interfering with slavery where it already existed; and (3) that Lincoln was willing to let the Corwin Amendment go through, if it was necessary to avert secession. None of that mattered to the fire-eaters, who had worked themselves into a frenzy that the presidential election of 1860 would be end of their slave-holding world.

      The irony, of course, is that their own subsequent actions proved them right.

      • Cotton Boll Conspiracy said, on December 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm

        A self-fulfilling prophecy, indeed.

      • M.D. Blough said, on December 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm

        Another point is that the secessionists made the same threat in 1856 when Fremont ran as the first presidential candidate of the new Republican Party. There was a very small minority of slavery proponents who advocated waiting and seeing what Lincoln would do and pointing out the great difficulties Republicans would face in making any radical changes. Of course, the hard-core secessionists rejected this. The last thing they wanted was to give Lincoln or any Republican(s) a chance and have them replace the terrors predicted by the secessionists with reasonable facts.

  2. Bummer said, on December 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Glad to see that you’re back in the land of the living. Your southern friends really can get riled. If they made any sense it might be tolerable, all Bummer can say is Merry Christmas and better you than me.


    • Andy Hall said, on December 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      Andy wishes Bummer (and all our readers) a Merry Christmas, as well.

  3. Freeman Walker said, on December 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I’ll side with Bummer on this one.
    Andy just liked to poke wasp’s nests (pun intended) as a kid and now he’s addicted to the buzz.

    I have a “friend” who claims Abe Lincoln had slaves in the Whitehouse to pacify his wife, Mary.
    I know there were aliens in the basement but I didn’t think they were slaves, too.

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