Thoughts on Ulysses S. Grant, Reconstruction, and forgiveness in politics

Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant

I have spent the past month or so reading Ron Chernow’s 2017 biography of Ulysses S. Grant. Dear Lord, is it timely. The sections of the book about Reconstruction — and, more specifically, how Reconstruction turned into Redemption — have an especially painful immediacy. I defy any honest person to read about the combined forces of authoritarianism and white supremacy destroying a multiracial democracy and not think of President Trump. As the man said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.

But the inspiration for this particular post concerns the so-called Mississippi Plan, which Chernow portrays as the…

Elias Isquith

Writer, editor, producer, liberal, Queens resident, and strong-opinion-holder

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