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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

The Civil War and a New Lost Cause

Look, after the Civil War, the defeated Confederates couldn’t accept the verdict of the war: They had lost. So, they say — they embraced what’s known as the Lost Cause, a self-serving lie that the Civil War was not about slavery but about states’ rights. And they’ve called that the noble cause.

That was a lie, a lie that had — not just a lie but it had terrible consequences. It brought on Jim Crow.

So, let me be clear for those who don’t seem to know: Slavery was the cause of the Civil War. (Applause.) There is no negotiation about that.

Now — now we’re living in an era of a second lost cause. Once again, there are some in this country trying — trying to turn a loss into a lie — a lie, which if allowed to live, will once again bring terrible damage to this country. This time, the lie is about the 2020 election, the election which you made your voices heard and your power known.

Just two days ago, we marked the third anniversary of the dark — one of the darkest days in American history: January the 6th. The day in which insurrectionists stormed the United States Capitol, trying for the first time in American history to stop the peaceful transfer of power in the country.

We all saw with our own eyes the truth of what happened. That violent mob was whipped up by lies from a defeated former President — smashing windows, smearing blood on statues, ransacking offices. Outside, insurrectionists erected gallows, chanting “Hang Mike Pence.” Inside, they hunted for Nancy Pelosi, chanting “Where’s Nancy?”

We saw something on January 6th we’d never seen before, even during the Civil War. Insurrectionists waving Confederate flags inside the halls of Congress built by enslaved Americans. A mob attacked and called Black officers, Black veterans defending the nation those vile of racist names.

And yet, an extreme movement of America, the MAGA Republicans, led by a defeated President, is trying to steal history now. They tried to steal an election. Now they’re trying to steal history, telling us that violent mob was, and I quote, “a peaceful protest.”

That that insurrection — those insurrectionists were — these are his words — “patriots.” That there was, quote, “a lot of love that day.” In fact, the rest of the nation and the world saw a lot of hate and violence.

For hours, the defeated former President sat in the private dining room off of my — off of the Oval Office and did nothing, nothing, n- — absolutely nothing. His actions were among the worst derelictions of duty by any president in American history. (Applause.) An attempt — an attempt to overturn a free and fair election by force and violence.

Let me say what others cannot. We must reject political violence in America. Always — not sometimes, always. It’s never appropriate.

The violence of January 6th was an extension of an old playbook from the — from the threats and violence and intimidation.

In Atlanta, Georgia, two brave Black women, mother and daughter — Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss — (applause) — they had their lives upended just doing their jobs — menacing calls, death threats, forcing them to literally flee their homes.

Those pushing the Big Lie have a conspiracy theory among conspiracy theories that outweighs them all that there’s what — and — and — but here is the fact. There is where we don’t have facts — their whole theory has no facts, has no proof, has no evidence. That’s why, time and again, they lost in every court of law that challenged the results — 60 losses in courts of America.

There’s one thing they don’t have. They don’t have respect for the 81 million people who voted the other way — voted for my candidacy — (applause) — and voted to end the presidency.

In their world, these Americans, including you, don’t count. But that’s not the real world. That’s not democracy. That’s not America. In America, we all count. In America, we witness to serve all those who, in fact, participate. And losers are taught to concede when they lose. And he’s a loser. (Applause.)