Slavery caused the Civil War. A failure to compromise had nothing to do with it.
Yes, I know a thousand people have made that point in the days since White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's nonsensical assertion on Fox "News" that "the lack of an ability to compromise" is what tore America apart. Allow me to be the 1,001st. There are things that need saying here, and I need to say them.
It's not just that there is no "compromise" between slavery and freedom. It is also that Mr. Kelly's use of that word is painfully ironic in a nation that has always been all too ready to bargain with the humanity of African-American people.
In 1776, in his...