Put this into the “most disgusting news of the day” category, although it is not at all surprising. A whopping 70% of Trump’s supporters in South Carolina believe that the Rebel flag should still be flying over their capitol. That is bad enough, but get this: 76% of them say that they either wish the South had won the Civil War, or aren’t sure if it was good that the North won. Yes, that means that only 24% of Trump’s supporters are glad that slavery was abolished, that secession was made illegitimate, and that the Union was saved. Congratulations, Trump! This is the kind of political coalition you’re putting together:
Think there is “no way” that Trump, or Sanders, could be elected president? History shows that a lot of these candidates that were seen as an impossibility to win the White House did so. In fact, according to this historian, Trump or Sanders would be our 12th “no way” Presidency in the last 100 years. Sobering.
And while we are on presidential politics: Republicans have been pretty united (although not completely) behind the idea that they should “delay, delay, delay” the confirmation of any new supreme court justice nominated by Obama. History, however, is not on their side.
More on the campaign: Trump’s enemies have been running commercials featuring clips of his use of profanity on the campaign trail, in an obvious attempt to turn evangelicals against him. I’m not sure that will have any kind of impact. But it has led Time to provide us with a “brief history of cursing in American politics. Enjoy.
And now for something completely different:
Over on Civil War Pop, Christian McWhirter has posted his review of the last two episodes of Mercy Street. He sees potential in the series if it continues beyond this short first season, but feels it has some structural weaknesses that are holding it back. I agree with some of what he has to say here, but I am less frustrated with the show’s “soapier” elements than he is, and have yet to feel overwhelmed by all the many story threads. The upcoming Booth stuff is very frustrating, but I’ll reserve judgement until I see how it plays out. The only good thing I see in that plot line is that they have introduced the Knights of the Golden Circle (Booth was a member), which was a shadowy organization in the North that involved themselves in some harebrained sabotage schemes during the war. (Who knows what kinds of things that they got involved in that never amounted to anything, and thus that no one outside their circle ever knew about? Perhaps blowing up a hospital? Not as crazy an idea as using greek fire to destroy NYC). Still, this could have been introduced as an element in the show without twisting history by giving us Booth involved in a Golden Circle plot to kill the president at such an early stage in the war (he did, however, get involved in some harebrained plots to kidnap the president, but again, that came later). I’m still enjoying the show, although I must confess that it hasn’t exactly become gripping television . . . yet. PBS isn’t HBO, but if the show becomes more successful, perhaps it will attract a better class of writers. I do still however enjoy how they are handling most historical elements, and when was the last time that we have been able to say that about a Civil War movie, let alone a tv show? I’m still down with Mercy Street.
And lastly, the cast of the Broadway smash, Hamilton, won big at the Grammys and thrilled the TV audience with a much praised performance of one of the key numbers in the musical. It is clear why this show is getting such high praise!