A fine reporting job by Richard Hanners of the Whitefish Pilot, who had the good sense to let TEA Party Republican Derek Skees’ own, unfiltered words tell the story. One item of particular interest, Skees says the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery:
He also explained his position on the “War of Secession,” which he said was “an unconstitutional war declared by Congress and President Lincoln” and involved “Yankee Trader greed and Southern honor.”
Revisionist historians with an agenda have convinced the public otherwise, Skees explained, but “the war was not fought over slavery but rather states rights.” He also pointed out that he “abhors all types of slavery” and is glad it has been abolished, but the loss of states rights was also a big blow to the country.
The problem is that the Confederate government, which failed after like four years, “rest[ed] upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery–subordination to the superior race–is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth,” according to Alexander Stephens, the Vice President of the Confederate States of America. Attempting to honor the Confederacy saying you abhor slavery is like trying to honor Santa Claus while abhorring Christmas.
Skees’ Democratic opponent Will Hammerquist said the war was indeed fought over slavery, and indeed, the historical documents of states that seceded tell us, yes, slavery is why they did so. James Conner at the Flathead Memo has a great take on the story that you’ll want to read as well if you’ve been following this, one of the hottest legislative races in the state.