MCCAIN WAVES THE BLOODY SHIRT AT BUCHANAN | 1999-10-23
The South suffered from the "Bloody Shirt" policy of Northern Republicans for many years. After the Civil War, New England steadily proceeded with their program of making the South a colony of New England. Higher and higher tariffs were imposed, forcing the South to buy industrial goods from New England rather than in cheaper foreign markets.
Industry was kept in New England by the simple device of charging several times as much to ship industrial goods north as for shipping them south. This was an internal tariff, preventing industry from moving south. Two sets of tariffs, one internal and one external, kept the East rich and the South poor.
All these policies favored New England and impoverished the south. It was not until AFTER WORLD WAR II that the last discriminatory rail rate ended. The South remained a New England colony until after 1945!
New England ruined the South economically all this time by controlling the Republican Party. The rest of the country did not benefit from these policies. So how did Republicans push policies favorable to only one section of the country and still get a consistent majority?
They did it by waving the "Bloody Shirt." Every four years, the Republican candidate would go to the Midwest and remind everyone about how the Republicans were the Party of Lincoln, and how the South deserved anything that happened to it for slavery and secession. The Bloody Shirt kept us economically enslaved for three generations.
McCain has pulled out the Bloody Shirt again.
Pat Buchanan was worried about the United States trying to guarantee union and freedom and so forth around the world. Liberals, as always, justified intervention around the world in the name of - what else? - Hitler. Anybody who opposed intervention in Kosovo was anaziwhowantedtokillsixmillionjews. So Buchanan did some research into how the world dealt with the real Hitler, and came up with a piece of heresy: He said England did it wrong!
Buchanan said that the guarantee Neville Chamberlain gave Poland in March 1939 was a bad idea. He said that, had Chamberlain not agreed to go to war with Germany if Hitler attacked Poland, Germany would have attacked the Soviet Union next. Instead, Hitler fought England and France and conquered Europe. The result was a catastrophe for Europe.
In any case, Buchanan points out, the guarantee did Poland no good at all. Hitler and Stalin divided Poland up between them. Buchanan points out that the European invasion and the European Holocaust were a direct result of Chamberlain's policy.
Harry Truman said much the same thing before World War II that Buchanan is saying today. He wanted Hitler and Stalin to fight each other, and wanted to find some way to arrange that, rather than a war in Europe. Would things be better or worse had Chamberlain not made that guarantee at that time? No one actually knows.
But that is not the point. The point is that Buchanan is criticizing the Clinton-McCain foreign policy. So they do what they always do when someone hits them with criticism they can't answer. They scream HITLER!
And how do they justify screaming at Buchanan? They wave the good old reliable Bloody Shirt. If you criticize Neville Chamberlain's policy and all it led to, you are insulting and attacking all of the American troops who died in World War II. That is what McCain is actually shouting. He has read Pat Buchanan out of the Republican Party for daring to criticize Neville Chamberlain, because Neville Chamberlain's policy represents all American veterans!
New England's Bloody Shirt Policy said that Union soldiers all died for policies that would benefit New England. McCain says that all those Americans died for the foreign policy advocated by him and Clinton.
Oddly enough, McCain never says that the critics of the Vietnam War should be excluded from the political process the way Buchanan should. He would never say that Vietnam War critics are desecrating the memory of tens of thousands of Americans who died over there. That would insult liberals, and that is the last thing John McCain will ever do.