Burch: Revenge of the rubes

Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

In movies like “Revenge of the Nerds,” the restive malcontents just want to be able to party and make out with attractive partners, like the alpha males and females. But Tennessee’s currently playing “Revenge of the Rubes” is much darker and far less likely to result in anyone having a good time for very long, even the social elites. (Need I mention the obvious, such as global warming, nation-bankrupting wars in the Middle East or first-graders being killed by hails of bullets fired from super-lethal military-style weapons?)

The rubes are angry — very angry — and like the Incredible Hulk, they are not at all likeable when they’re angry.

These are some of the things that frighten the rubes and make them so very angry: facts, science, logic, reason, people with darker skin, presidents with funny-sounding names, gays, feminists, liberals, union workers, atheists, agnostics and Muslims.

Now, like sharks when blood is present, the rubes are turning on their own kind. Take, for example, Lamar Alexander, who outshines Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black the way the sun eclipses the moon (by which I mean the dark side). The rubes dearly love Blackburn and Black because they vote in line with Republican positions an astounding 99 percent of the time. But Alexander, being a thinking man rather than an ideologue, has voted in concert with President Obama’s positions 62 percent of the time. To the rubes, that’s like Luke Skywalker going over to the Dark Side of the Force. So now they’re scheming to get rid of Alexander in the next election, in order to replace him with another political zombie.

Never mind that President Obama is correct in his political positions far more often than the increasingly intolerant and fascist GOP. The rubes have no interest in who is actually doing the right things according to human wisdom, because they are guided by faith, not reason. So they “know” that evolution is a lie; that global warming is a hoax; that stricter gun control is the path to totalitarianism; that every human pregnancy is ordained by an all-wise God; and that homosexuality incurs the wrath of God, and thus explains hurricanes and other natural disasters.

People who are overwhelmed by irrational fears seldom make the best possible choices. Now here in Tennessee we have hordes of hyperkinetic Chicken Littles running around fearfully clucking that the sky is falling, when in reality it is their childish fears of nonexistent monsters in the closet that present the greatest danger to our rights and liberty. If, for example, one citizen has the right to carry assault weapons wherever he pleases, with enough ammo to take out an entire school or theater, that more than obviously infringes on the rights of concerned mothers and fathers to know that their children are not being turned into targets in a shooting gallery.

If we see sane, reasonable leaders like Lamar Alexander being replaced by more irrational people like Black and Blackburn, we should not be surprised when the inevitable happens, and Tennessee continues its slide back toward the Dark Ages. If we want progress, it’s time to send the political rubes back to their farms, or better yet to the Funny Farm for some serious counseling.

[Note: After I submitted the article above to The City Paper, Marsha Blackburn almost immediately made me seem like a prophet by challenging President Obama to a skeet-shooting contest. At a time when the nation is still mourning the loss of 20 precious first-graders and the six courageous educators who died trying to defend them from yet another mad gunslinger, Tennessee’s “Ms. Inappropriate” wants to prove to the world that she can wreak more destruction on clay pigeons. Rather than trying to put an end to the carnage, she intends to wow the rubes and the NRA by demonstrating that she can out-shoot the opposition. Unbelievable.]

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

135 Comments on this post:

By: pswindle on 1/31/13 at 11:37

And the world thinks that Blackburn and Black is the best tthat TN has to offer. But, that is just the beginning, we have Ron, Beth and all of the GOP Senate and House. TN is becoming a national embarrassment.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/31/13 at 11:59

I understand exactly what this fellow from the bowels of humanity is saying. I cannot stand carrots and blackeyed peas. I think anyone who does like and endorses the nutritional value of these foul tasting vegetables should not be allowed to serve in any public culinary position.

Diversity a prime ingriedient in wars,politics,the need for gun control and failing civilizations.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/1/13 at 3:44

Speaking of rubes, Raspy is the booby. This poor boy tries to act the wealthy fellow, but likes the mental skills to pull it off. Now be a good boy and go play with yogi. You two have the same skill levels.

By: Ask01 on 2/1/13 at 5:15

Mike is right on the money with this one. The rubes are indeed revelling in their new found power.

I don't believe, however, the knuckle dragger set has actually grown so numerically superior they can takeover the state. The problem instead, is the inability of the swing voters who usually keep the lunatic fringe in check to accept an African American president. This is the only way they can strike back and feel they are in charge.

When the GOP in Washington is marginalized to the point they can no longer impede progress, and the Tennessee middle of the road voters realize the Apocalypse is not imminent, and the programs are indeed working, perhaps they will be embarrassed enough to remove the local GOP and return Tennessee to a blue state column.

By: Loner on 2/1/13 at 6:03

Good morning, Nashville.

Once again, Mike Burch has composed a stinging missive in protest of Tennessee's backwards slide into ignorance and fear. One might call this educational article an introduction to Rubology....the study of rubes.

Mike is an accomplished rubologist with a great deal of field experience; he can identify the gender and species of a rube, just from hearing their call. There are several species of rube within the genus; and Mike knows them all.

This missive, while not quite a complete field guide to rubes, is quite useful in identifying Southern rubes; especially those in the Cumberland region of Appalachia. These Southern rubes are usually bright red and noisy, dirty creatures; Northern Rubes, on the other hand, are blue and less dramatic in their displays of domination and territoriality.

The next time I see or hear the sound of a Southern rube, I'll remember this article and I'll try to identify the exact species of rube that is creating the ruckus.

BTW, hunting rubes is outlawed in all 50 states; once plentiful, they are now an endangered species and are protected by law. Of course, some argue that they should be allowed to go extinct....the debate is ongoing.

By: Loner on 2/1/13 at 6:10

Rasputin72 on 1/31/13 at 11:59: I understand exactly what this fellow from the bowels of humanity is saying.

Rasp, as a resident of the bowels of society, you certainly ought to know "the bowels of humanity" of which you speak. Like a hookworm in the large intestine of America, you have found a nice warm niche to spend the rest of your life in....no work, no struggle for existence....the life of a parasite must be quite secure....but be careful, you could be unceremoniously excreted at any time.

By: gdiafante on 2/1/13 at 6:17

TN is becoming a national embarrassment.

Becoming? It already is.

There isn't a backwards slide, it's always been this way. That's the problem.

The state isn't going gently into the 21st century. It's kicking and screaming, daydreaming about the halcyon days of Southern chivalry and culture from the 1850's. If not for those damn Yankees....

By: Loner on 2/1/13 at 6:34

I hear ya, Gd, IMO, there has been a slide backwards in TN since the days of Cordell Hull...he may have represented the high water mark of competent governance in TN. Now, they want to raze the building named after the statesman; as if destroying the building will destroy the man's legacy.

Nowadays, in the former confederacy, it's all about how mean, stubborn and disgruntled the elected official can act....the rubes consider such grandstanding gratuitous behavior to be a virtue and a prerequisite for holding public office.

When the South surrendered, the political fiefdoms should have been broken up and the state borders rearranged; the names of the seceding states should have been banned; all new states formed in the old confederacy would be named after union army war heroes, prior to readmission to the union.

The Southern states were readmitted to the union, as if the Secession and murerous rebellion had not occurred....that was a huge mistake and we are paying the price til this very day.

By: Loner on 2/1/13 at 6:36

s/h/b murderous...mea culpa.

By: Rasputin72 on 2/1/13 at 7:36

Obviously, this site is dominated by a majority of those that have not fared well under the heirarchy that has existed in this state.

As "Good Jelly Jones" the shoe shine monarch of my club in Florida likes to expound, "If you are not high rolling,chances are you low rolling."

By: gdiafante on 2/1/13 at 7:45

Right Raspy, because monetary wealth is the only indicator of astute observational skills. lol...sometimes you say the dumbest things...

By: Loner on 2/1/13 at 7:45

Rasp has his shoes shined at his exclusive club by an Uncle Tom going by the name of "Good Jelly Jones".....in his rich fantasy life, of course....poor devil lives in a world of his own. If he wasn't so pitiful and sick this would be laughable.

Must be that breakfast is over at the downtown mission...having stuffed his belly with free food...the Rasp waits for the liquor stores to open up....a little cheap gin and he'll be fine.

By: yogiman on 2/1/13 at 8:04

Well, fellows, I'm still not as masterful as you all on this 'machine' and I was ridiculed because I didn't use Google to check anything out, so I decided to "take a shot at it".

Now, I use Bing instead of Google so I went in on Bing and here is three topics you all might not like to hear:

50 year document expert explains Obama's fraudulent birth certificate 6/14/11/
It's almost an hour long, but you're listening to a successful business man with 50 years experience on the subject. That is, if you want to learn the facts.

declarations on disarmament
The is a run on the United Nations' aim at disarming America before their takeover as a one world government.

troops ordered to kill all Americans who do not turn in guns
Hear it an get ready.

Facts are known; when the citizens of a nation become disarmed, a dictator takes over.

By: yogiman on 2/1/13 at 8:07

Wanna hear a cute song? Bing, or Google: mr scamman parody song. You can hear several including Johnny Cash. I thought his was one of the best.

By: Loner on 2/1/13 at 8:19

Click. Troll Dropping Avoidance Mode now engaged. Ignoring the ignoramus is our only hope...feeding the troll simply encourages him to remain a nuisance here. I refuse to waste any more of my time on the bigoted imbecile....he's NRA...a Nut, a Redneck & an A-hole....he's like dog shit on the sidewalk...avoid it at all costs.

By: gdiafante on 2/1/13 at 8:23

Well, yogi, your search tastes notwithstanding, you have a clear aversion to facts and a clear affinity for conspiracies. If you have Netflix, get it and watch every season of The X-Files immediately...or Dumb and Dumber (which may be your biography).

Here's a little truth for you...the gun restrictions being proposed have (1) already existed in the past without the 2nd amendment being infringed and (2) do not constitute (as proposed) confiscation.

You're like a little puppy, shivering and urinating all over the place because you're afraid of everything you see (and lack the capacity to understand what you're seeing).

So, what we need here is a puppy pad. Maybe Raspy would be good enough to stop shining shoes long enough to get you one...

By: Loner on 2/1/13 at 8:44

Southern Sapsucker Rube sighted and heard @ 8:04...and @ 8:07...am I right on the call, Mike Burch?

By: BenDover on 2/1/13 at 8:48

The south suffered at the hands of the north long before the civil war began and long after Lee surrendered at Appomattox.

The chasm isn't so much North vs. South anymore as it is Urban vs. Rural. Lamar's heart was eaten by inside-the-beltway 'do something!' collectivism long ago and though his contributions to the State and Country are many... reasonable cooperation on matters with people with unreasonable aims is destructive to the country, his party and the balance of power of the citizenry over an all-powerful government.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/1/13 at 8:52

By: Rasputin72 on 2/1/13 at 7:36
Obviously, this site is dominated by a majority of those that have not fared well under the heirarchy that has existed in this state.

Put you money where your mouth is Rasputin. The only thing obvious is your like of skills, to fool people for any length of time. What has been the longest time that you have had any relationship with another human being, other than your imaginary friends?

By: Rasputin72 on 2/1/13 at 8:52

I am reminded of the words of Elmo Dugger our doorman here in Florida. Elmo bought lottery tickets by the fistful every week despite the many urgings by the residents that this behavior was among the worst investments he could make.

Elmo one day made a miraculous and modest hit of one million dollars about five years ago. Elmo quit almost immediately. He had his day with a couple of residents and unleashed his pent up dislike for their boorish behavior.

Of course as happens to the unsophisticated so many times he outran his headlights financially and fell upon the mercy of the welfare system.

He swallowed his pride and asked for his job back. Finding a good doorman is harder to find than people like the Simple Six and an old liberal ner do well hippie and a furious class envy male can imagine. We rehired him without a dissenting vote and that included those he derided iin his exit.l

Chatting with him one day, Elmo said to me, "Some people never understand that it costs a
lot of money to be rich." I said to Elmo, "Do you still bit lottery tickets?" Elmo said he did, and that he still fantasized about winning. I said, Elmo, what would you do if you hit it big again.
Without hesitation he said, "I would quit this job immediately and tell some people in this building to kiss my ass." Elmo, did you not learn anything from your experience last time.?

Again without hesitation he said, I did learn something." I learned that one of happiest days was the day that for one moment I was just as equal as you or anybody else in this building."

I said, Elmo,I hope yoiu win it big again.

I relate this story because the internet gives people like those mentioned a chance to be eual if just for a moment.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/1/13 at 8:52

As "Good Jelly Jones" the shoe shine monarch of my club in Florida likes to expound, "If you are not high rolling,chances are you low rolling."

Good Jelly Jones live in Hermitage, TN. You sure travel along way to get a shoe shine old boy.

By: gdiafante on 2/1/13 at 8:52

No, more like the country suffered because the North capitulated to the South's demands in 1787, Ben. Had we ended the peculiar institution then, all of this would be a moot point.

By: budlight on 2/1/13 at 8:54

O.K. Mr. Burch, what does your picture of "gun control" look like? Paint it in short numbered sentences for me. What country that has gun control would you want the U.S. to model?

What do you think of the policies of Switzerland? If Chicago has a strict gun control policy and yet many, many murders by gun, how do you see stricter laws changing Chicago's situation?

By: Captain Nemo on 2/1/13 at 8:55

Both Blackburn and Raspy are rubes. The only difference between Blackburn and Rasputin is, Blackburn was elected and Raspy was not.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/1/13 at 8:56

3. Maybe narcissists have a reason for being narcissistic. This comes up a lot. People think, "Well, maybe narcissists have a reason for being this way." That's not true. When you look at objective measures of intelligence and beauty, narcissists are just like everybody else. They just think they're great. They're legends in their own minds. There are lots of studies on this. My favorite one came out a couple months ago. It was titled "Narcissistic Men and Women Think They Are So Hot, but They Are Not." If you ask narcissists how attractive they think they are or how smart they think they are, they rate themselves high. But when you look at an actual IQ test, or someone else rating their photograph, they're average.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/1/13 at 8:57

If it is not about me, then it is not worth talking about.

Ray Collier-

By: Captain Nemo on 2/1/13 at 9:03

Elmo Dugger also lives in the Donelson area. It is funny that you would bring up two people in the same part of town, Rasputin.

By: yogiman on 2/1/13 at 9:05

I hope you're as smart as you think you are, gdiafante.

So tell me, what do you think Obama is taking this nation into bankruptcy for? When this nation become bankrupt, your man Barry takes over by Marshal Law. Our Constitution will become null and void. He will become our dictating master.

By: Rasputin72 on 2/1/13 at 9:05

NEMO, Elmo Dugger and Good Jelly Jones live wherever you want them to live.

By: BenDover on 2/1/13 at 9:07

The 'peculiar institution' was simply Lincoln's moral rationalization for war with the purpose of maintaining the union. He would happily have ceded that point knowing time was taking care of the issue just as it had everywhere else in the civilized world. He said as much. Innovation and mechanization would have hastened the process - as was the growing realization that having expensive assets with legs and a will to run is not as good a business model as the work for wage model.

Emerson had it right when he suggested the government simply buy out the slaveowner's rights under eminent domain. That would have left the state sovereignty at status quo though and it is for that reason we suffered over a half million casualties, reconstruction and racial strife into the 21st century.

Everyone lauds the North and Lincoln on the issue but the Emancipation Proclamation specifically excluded the Northern Slave states.

The real purpose and result of the War was to codify a hungry and powerful central government's authority over the several states.

By: Loner on 2/1/13 at 9:10

Rasp described a certain poster here as, "an old liberal ner do well hippie and a furious class envy male" ....as both Maynard G. Krebs and Lurch both would say, "You rang?"

By: Captain Nemo on 2/1/13 at 9:11

By: budlight on 2/1/13 at 8:54
O.K. Mr. Burch, what does your picture of "gun control" look like? Paint it in short numbered sentences for me

I thought you were a paint by the numbers kind of person, bud.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/1/13 at 9:15

Raspy is a fail Hippy and he is a fail tycoon. Can’t live with what he is and wants others to think is something important.

By: BenDover on 2/1/13 at 9:17

Ed Koch has died. Sorry to hear it. He seemed like a pretty good guy.


By: Captain Nemo on 2/1/13 at 9:19

By: Rasputin72 on 2/1/13 at 9:05
NEMO, Elmo Dugger and Good Jelly Jones live wherever you want them to live.

So these are people that live in your head?

By: Captain Nemo on 2/1/13 at 9:20

I heard about that too, Ben. He was fun.

By: Loner on 2/1/13 at 9:37

Ben Dover unfurls the Stars & Bars and recites the Southern Revisionist Version of the tragedy that we call, "The Great Secession" and the ensuing war between the states....the American Civil War.

The misled Southern apologist wrote: The south suffered at the hands of the north long before the civil war began and long after Lee surrendered at Appomattox.....The real purpose and result of the (Civil) War was to codify a hungry and powerful central government's authority over the several states.

It is truly sad and depressing to read stuff like that. Some 618,00 soldiers & sailors died in the senseless and gruesome conflict.

In Mount Albion Cemetery, in Albion, Orleans Co., NY the names of over 450 men are inscribed on nine marble tablets...the "Soldier Dead of Orleans County" reads the inscription on the central tablet....these tablets are located on the walls of the vestibule of a sandstone tower built as a monument to these men...a spiral staircase inside the tower leads to a small observation deck about 3 stories up...the monument is sited on the highest point in the county...on a glacial drumlin...on an otherwise flat lake plain.

Here are the words that are carved into the rock, above the entrance-way: "To those who fell in defence of the union".

But Ben says that's all bullshit...this was a war of Northern aggression, he claims...it was all about taxation and tariffs etc. Of course, that claim is pure bullshit.

The poor Southern whites, often recruited in churches, were fighting to uphold the Confederate Constitution. The officers must have read the infamous document to the illiterate white boys around the campfires, as they rallied the troops for battle...and the possibility of death.

The rebels were willing to die for what the Confederate Constitution contained. What parts got the most rebel yells of approval, when the words were read to the men? Most likely, it was when the words, "African Negro slavery" and "African Negro slaves" were mentioned...and their status as subhumans was constitutionally affirmed.

Google it yourself, read it and weep...African Negro slavery was specifically affirmed by the Confederate Constitution...it's what the fools were willing to die for.

Face it, Ben there was no glory or legitimacy in the Southern Cause....it was based on white supremacy and slave labor.

By: Loner on 2/1/13 at 9:43

Ed Koch actually answered an e-mail that I sent to him, when he ran, "Koch's Korner" on the Jerusalem Post. I remember that he chided me for being naive...he pointed out that US support for Israel was fully bipartisan and would likely remain that way for good....Ed got that right...Rest In Peace, Ed Koch".

By: Loner on 2/1/13 at 9:48

Take a walk down the staircase inside the tower at Mt. Albion:


By: gdiafante on 2/1/13 at 9:54

Southern revisionist indeed, Loner. Maybe Ben should pay attention. Lincoln wasn't alive in 1787. And yes, it was always about slavery and the spread of slavery. Then it was about the South's economic dependence upon that institition.

Face it, Ben there was no glory or legitimacy in the Southern Cause....it was based on white supremacy and slave labor.

White supremacy was not exclusive to the South but your point is spot on.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/1/13 at 9:57

That is an interesting design, Loner. Is there any significance for it?

By: BenDover on 2/1/13 at 9:58

Google the Emancipation Proclamation and give it a read too there loner. It only emancipated Southern Slaves old friend. This white-washed view of Northern purity and of Lincoln the Deliverer is far too simple for a man as nuanced as you. It's almost like you learned all your history from a Steven Spielberg movie or something.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/1/13 at 10:00

I ended that war in 1973, when I took a little trip to Shiloh. The more I read about that war, the more I think that there was such an evil throughout the South.

By: Loner on 2/1/13 at 10:08

Let me say one more thing to Ben and the other revisionists; if the hundreds of thousands of African Negro slaves were allowed to vote in a referendum for secession and they knowingly and willingly voted to support the Southern Constitution, then your case for states rights would have much more gravitas.

The will of ALL the people in the seceding states was not factored into the decision to secede from the union...the foolish decision was fundamentally undemocratic by nature.

The South was fighting for the right to own African Negro slaves....there is no question about that....read the Confederate Constitution:


The disgraceful document starts out with, "We, the people of the Confederate States,", but what they really meant was, "We, the WHITE people of the Confederate States,"

Once the facts are known, only a white supremacist could still hold the torch for General Lee and the Confederacy.

Lee and Jeff Davis should have been hung...the traitors murdered thousands of American patriots, all for a disgusting cause.

By: gdiafante on 2/1/13 at 10:14

Jesus Ben, such a chip on your shoulder. Of course the EP was a war strategy. But that doesn't change the fact that Lincoln did it and we ended up with the 13th amendment.

And as I said before, white supremacy was a national issue, I don't think anyone is white-washing except you. The antebellum south was not Gone With The Wind and there is nothing redeeming about either side.

This country exists because the North gave in to the South's demands and legalized slavery. Our country was destined to splinter because of that very fact. It's an ugly history, an embarassing one, for such a country that (supposedly) stands for liberty and freedom.

It's kind of ridiculous that 150 years later people are still fighting the war. Actually, it's pathetic.

By: BenDover on 2/1/13 at 10:23

There would have been no nation in the first place had they not kicked that can down the road, gd. You're smart enough to know that.

The founders knew the contradictions to the ideals and the hypocrisy well (and personally in most cases). They all agreed that time would solve the issue and it would have. Importation of Slave labor was banned by congress in 1808.

International trade pressures, mechanization, automation, abolitionist political pressures and sensibilities from the church... all of these would have had the same effect on slavery in the United States as it did on the rest of the world.

The Civil War and subsequent Reconstruction served only to kill 625,000 American men and to aggravate racial strife and tensions in the country far beyond what their normal course would have been for the next 100 years.

Again, hind-sight being, 20/20 Emerson's recommendation to buy out the slave owners via eminent domain would have been much better solution. War was how things were decided then though, so war it was.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/1/13 at 10:31

Who fired the first shot?

By: budlight on 2/1/13 at 10:32

y: Captain Nemo on 2/1/13 at 9:11
By: budlight on 2/1/13 at 8:54
O.K. Mr. Burch, what does your picture of "gun control" look like? Paint it in short numbered sentences for me

I thought you were a paint by the numbers kind of person, bud.

Yes, you are correct; thus the question and then the statement "paint it in short numbered sentences for me". Or didn't you catch that?

At least I can laugh at myself which is something you all can't do cause you take yourselves too seriously.

By: Loner on 2/1/13 at 10:33

Captain Nemo, I'm sure that there were some symbolic aspects to the monument....I used to go to the tower often as a boy...I grew up about one mile from there....so, I have thought a lot about it and have my own interpretation.

To me, going up the tower is a metaphor for life itself. We start out in the open air and daylight of life...climbing the stairs to the gate-way represents the dying process....maybe stages of our lives...once inside the monument, the light fades, the air is different and the quiet sets in...it is a somber chamber..I sometimes play the whistle or the tenor in there, the revberb is great...I play for the men and their families, even though they are no longer with us....call me crazy.

Going up the staircase is symbolic of death and rebirth...the dim light fades to total darkness..you proceed by feel, as the passageway narrows and the handrail ends...some want to turn back at this point....if one continues the climb, the light slowly returns, until at last one reaches the open-air observation deck at the top....the view from there is spectacular....this deck then, symbolizes heaven, to me.

I have thought about the tower that way ever since I was a boy.

Years later, I discovered that my great, great grandfather was a soldier in one of the units that was nearly wiped out at Cold Harbor, VA....he was wounded and taken as a prisoner to Libby Prison. He was one of the relatively lucky ones, I suppose, as the names of dozens of his fallen comrades, members of the NY 8th Heavy Artillery, are inscribed on the marble tablets...about 450 names in total are inscribed on the tablets...and Orleans County is one of the least populated, most rural of NY's counties...that was a huge hit for a small community.

Let us not revise history, to retroactively mitigate the shame and senselessness of it all.

By: BenDover on 2/1/13 at 10:34

I'm not defending slavery. I abhor it. I'm just explaining that the real history behind this issue isn't a simple sugar-coated White Knight Lincoln vs Satan Spawn South.

To believe that version of the history is to ignore the fact that there were northern slave states... that Lincoln himself said he gladly give up on the issue of Slavery (kick it down the road again) if it would preserve the union... that there was not strong abolitionist sentiments in the south before the war... that punitive importation taxes was severely hindering the Southern economy... that the issue of states rights and sovereignty in the day were such that intelligent thoughtful men... soldiers... were forced to choose allegiance between their state and their country...

It is agenda driven history to ignore all of these and say the civil-war was only about slavery.