ROSE NOLEN: History shows that people continue push to secede

Tuesday, December 25, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — I am a fan of President Abraham Lincoln. My great-grandfather was a soldier on duty at Ford Theater that fateful night when the president was assassinated. So, of course I went to the movie, "Lincoln."

It was a good movie. Considering that Mrs. Lincoln was the only woman to play a major role in the action, things moved along as well as they could. I can’t help imagining what it would have been like if women had been on the scene earlier.

I think if women had been on hand they could have offered some advice. For example, I think there might have been more discussion about the reunification following the secession. I think a few years with their miserable economies would have given Southerners an opportunity to think long and hard about the situation and whether they really wanted to be a part of the Union. That way, they wouldn’t have had to rethink the matter again after 150 years or so.

Then, too, maybe if the country had waited until 1964 before it reunited then a lot of black and white folks could have avoided having to go through all that unpleasantness during the Civil Rights Movement. And some very important lives could have been spared. But, of course that’s all afterthought.

And, of course, it’s too late now, and, so, what we have is a bunch of people trying to secede again. These people are sad and unhappy, and they don’t want to be united with the rest of us. And, it seems as if this is going to go on indefinitely. Every time something they disapprove of happens, they are going to be unhappy. And with minorities becoming a larger portion of the population, there is probably going to be more unhappiness. So, hopefully we can solve this problem.

Suppose the country could allow these folks a period of time to choose a place to go and time enough to get there on the condition that they agree never to return. This seems to me an ideal solution. We’ll probably be able to make up years of progress just by not having to listen to the negativism.

When you think about it, this was a lot of good time wasted. The fact that Mr. Lincoln was shot and killed for his effort, only makes matters worst. Women would have warned him that once these men get an idea in their heads about how they want things to be, it’s hard to dissuade them, especially if they have always had their own way.

The fight was about words. It was about the words contained in the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

President Abraham Lincoln seemed to have understood what so few men did, that it was the slave owner not the slave who was guilty of the crime. He won the fight. Then, died for his effort.

Life seems, so often, unfair.

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or emailing her at Questions? Contact Opinion Editor Elizabeth Conner.

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