"Gray: Talking about contemporary politics now and George Bush, one of the things you've said in your article was that if the Confederate states had won the Civil War, Bush's policies would be exactly what you would expect from a "Confederate" president.
Egerton: Well, I'm not saying (Bush's presidency operates) in a directly racist way that would have been true in 1865--but I'm saying it because of the philosophy of elitism, inequality--that certain people had advantages over other people- and carving those into the pillars of the law. This is part and parcel of the Republican Party of today. It is that philosophy of 'inequality of privilege' that the Republicans cotton to and claim.
This is a very good summary, and illustrates what we're dealing with today: the colonialist version of America vs. an America that's free and equal and truly democratic.
The vision which Egerton is outlining in relation to Bush should be familiar to anyone who has experience with South American and general Latin American history in general because this is the dream that ruling class whites in these societies have always had for their countries.
The populist/egalitarian/democratic notions of what a society in the western hemisphere should be about have always been in the opposition there.
And now they're in the opposition here.
This election was indeed a referendum about which way America should go, but that shouldn't prevent us from fighting still.
I remember looking out at the fortress at St. Augustine, built by the Spanish, the first permanent settlement in continental North America, and thinking, so this is where it all began. It did indeed begin there and the politics of that time are still with us, irregardless of what's been constructed since.