David Frum raises the subject:
Non-Southerners may wonder: How can anyone interpret the founding of the Southern Confederacy as anything other than treason in service of slaveholding? And yet, manifestly many good and decent people do interpret the founding of the Southern Confederacy that way. They minimize the significance of slaveholding, they deny the treason, they insist that they are only honoring the service and sacrifice of their ancestors. And really what choice do they have? The alternatives are pride or shame.
Ulysses Grant said it well, when he described the Confederacy in his Memoirs as: “a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse.” But the best account of the psychic mechanism that leads to Confederate memorialization comes from Friedrich Nietzsche: “I have done that,” says my memory. “I cannot have done that” says my pride, and remains adamant. At last memory yields."
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