Victor David Hanson’s commentary attempting to equate parallels between “states’ rights” issues in 1861 South Carolina and 2017 California unintentionally illustrates the current Republican party’s bewildering loss of its moral compass (“The creepy similarities between California and the Confederate South,” Feb. 12). The fundamental difference is that South Carolina sought secession from Washington in order to continue practicing a radical form of racial and chattel slavery whereas California is merely threatening noncompliance with any laws or directives from Washington that contradict basic American values and traditions regarding immigration, religious tolerance and ethnic discrimination. That’s a big difference, not a big similarity.
A much greater difference, however, is the vision of the president that each state was resisting. Hanson deliberately avoids the comparison between the values of Abraham Lincoln and Donald Trump because he would have to admit that the Republican Party in 2017 has betrayed its party’s greatest hero. Instead of a specious preoccupation with “states’ rights,” what should today be alarming Hanson and all true Republicans is this: the transformation of the party of Lincoln into the White Nationalist Party of Donald Trump.
If Lincoln were alive today I’m sure he’d be supporting California’s Trump’s odious agenda. And, with all true Republicans today, I’m sure he’d be weeping.
Bob Pelfrey, San Luis Obispo