Tomorrow will mark the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War. I was reading a CNN article entitled “4 ways we’re still fighting the Civil War”. It quotes author David Goldfield as saying: “The erosion of the center in contemporary American politics is the most striking parallel between today and the time just before the Civil War.”

I also saw that California Governor Jerry Brown has apparently been drawing parallels between the divisions in the Civil War period and the present day.

I don’t know; it’s true the country is divided, but I don’t think this is close to the most divided it has been since the Civil War. I’ve been re-reading Rick Perlstein’s excellent book Nixonland and I’d have to say that there seems to be much less politically-motivated violence now than there was in the 1960s.

I’ve been reading the book Nixonland by Rick Perlstein lately, and it’s very good. It’s fascinating to see just how hard Nixon worked to achieve what he did. Nixon, as we all know, had anti-charisma. JFK, on the other hand, had charisma. Given that, it really is a testament to what a marvelous politician Nixon was that the 1960 election was even close.