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COMMENTARY

What Game is Being Played?

The Democrats, the Death of Notorious RBG, and the Clueless GOP
By Herodotus Paine

It was a red pill moment—that instant when it hits you and you can’t go back to how things were.

I enjoy studying the Civil War. What especially intrigues me is why it unfolded the way it did. Why did the North get off to such a rocky start, and how and why did it change course to win? I had to explain it to a class. I needed something closer to a bumper sticker so it would sink in, rather than a dry hour-long discourse few would hear or heed.

And then it dawned on me. The war changed when the game changed.

In simple terms, President Lincoln and his early war generals set out to fight a European-style war. Across the pond, the armies mostly maneuvered, fought a major battle, and settled on peace terms. When one side captured valuable land or seized a major city (or better still, the enemy’s capital), peace negotiations kicked into high gear.

Thus, in 1861 the war cry in the North wasn’t “Wipe out the enemy’s will to fight!” It was instead, “On to Richmond!”

Unfortunately for the Union, it rushed an army into the field only to see it routed at Bull Run just outside Washington, DC. The Confederacy had no interest in negotiating anything.

Stick with me here.

A more ambitious plan under Gen. George McClellan shoved his massive Army of the Potomac up the Virginia Peninsula to the outskirts of the Confederate capital. “Little Mac’s” goal was not to crush the Southern will to fight, destroy their factories and their fields, or capture or bleed Gen. Lee’s Virginia army. Fighting like his European cousins, Mac intended to lay siege (think “trap”) to the enemy capital with an overwhelming force so the Rebels would come to their senses and the country could come together again along the lines of what had been in place in 1860with slavery intact and the matter resolved.

Lincoln and McClellan thought the South was playing the same game. It wasn’t. Several more “On to Richmond!” campaigns failed.

In 1864 Lincoln has his own epiphanistic moment when he realized the two sides were fighting on the same terrain but playing two very different games. The South was fighting for its very existence. If it lost, the Confederacy would disappear. There was nothing to negotiate. If the North lost, the country that once existed would disintegrate.

It was time to change the game from one of maneuver to one of annihilation. Lincoln elevated U.S. Grant (who had captured two entire Confederate armies in the West) to command all the Union armies. He came East. William T. Sherman was put in charge of the West. The new plan was to win at all costs. Now the Confederate armies were the goal, as were factories, farms, livestock, etc. It was not quite “total” war, but it was beginning to at least smell like it.

Okay Herodotus, thanks for the Wiki version of history. Where does Justice Ginsburg and the GOP fit into all this? Before I answer, let’s summarize the history lesson.

Think of it like this: for the first half or more of the war the North was playing Chess—maneuvering here, taking a pawn or bishop there, losing a few pieces over there—in the hope of trapping the King (Richmond) to end the game. By 1864—still playing on the same terrain, i.e., chessboard—Lincoln realized his mistake and switched the game to Checkers—a game of annihilation. Grant, Sherman, Philip Sheridan, and others took the war deep into the South, inflicting massive casualties while cities burned, crops were destroyed, and industries ruined. They made it as difficult as possible for the Southerners to keep fighting.

The same paradox is playing out today in American politics. Both sides are playing on the same board while playing two different games. The Democrats turned what was once differences over basic policy and spending (Chess—maneuvering for position) into a total war blood sport for all the pieces (Checkers).

They abandoned talk, debate, reason, ethics, and logic with a “win at all costs” mentality. Doxxing and the cancel culture and calling you a racist shuts you up. Antifa and BLM riots and screaming intimidates most people. They demand that you raise your fist in compliance, too afraid to speak up, or risk your livelihood.

Their goal is not gentle maneuver and the shifting of a plastic game piece here or there to put you in check for negotiations and middle ground. The Left’s aim is to eliminate America as we know it. The Left is playing Checkers. It is playing for keeps.

The GOP and much of the country has yet to realize this. Republicans try to appeal to logic and reason and parliamentary niceties—rules which their opponents no longer recognize and openly mock. “Don’t Antifa and Black Lives Matter know they are destroying minority businesses?” is the wrong question. Of course, they do. Their objective is different than ours.

When people tell you who they are—believe them. When Bernie or AOC tell you they are going to eliminate capitalism—believe them. When BLM leaders tell you they are a Marxist, anti-white, and anti-Semitic group bent on destroying America—believe them. When Obama announced his goal was to “fundamentally transform America,” he was speaking aloud the quiet part.

President Trump needs to nominate a replacement for RBG. The weak sisters in the GOP—Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski—need to read the new rule book. Theirs is outdated.

This is the game being played. And it is for all the pieces.

Submitted by Herodotus Paine who is an attorney, writer, father, husband, constitutional activist, avid cigar smoker, stand-up comedian, part-time college professor, and a rescuer of dogs.

 

 

 

 

 

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