"Ignorant, dumb and just plain stupid plus he grew up in a place we used to call Birmingham North. "John Kelly’s comments about the Civil War, according to historians, were “strange,” “sad” and “wrong.” One thing they shouldn’t be, however, is surprising.
The immediate online backlash to Kelly’s assertion that the country’s bloodiest conflict resulted from “the lack of an ability to compromise” belied a troubling reality: The chief of staff is actually in good company. In 2011, a 48 percent plurality of Americans in a Pew poll said the war was mostly about states’ rights. Most teachers tell their students more or less the same thing, and history textbooks for decades have hawked the false tale of the Lost Cause. Even the U.S. citizenship test accepts “economic reasons” and “states’ rights” as correct responses to the prompt, “Name one problem that led to the Civil War.”
The Civil War, of course, was about slavery. But when so many still subscribe to the alternative narrative, there’s no reason to expect a Republican president’s right-hand man to do any different. There was also no reason to expect Kelly not to defend his boss when he got into a spat with a Gold Star widow this month, or not to wade into the culture wars (women are “sacred,” society cares too little for the “dignity of life”) at the same time..."
John Kelly's Civil War comments shouldn't surprise us