We again face challenge to our government

The 29th of January marked Kansas’ 159th birthday. In 1861 on that date, our national flag with a 34th star for Kansas was raised for the first time. For years, there had been intense conflict between Free-Staters (Kansans settlers who opposed slavery) and pro-slavery invaders from Missouri. Our state was so racked by violence that it became known as “Bleeding Kansas.”

Abraham Lincoln, the anti-slavery Republican candidate, won the presidency in November 1860. In December, South Carolina responded by seceding from the Union. Other slave-holding states were quick to follow.

In the mid-19th century, the presidential term ended on March 4, so President James Buchanan had about 35 days left in his term before Lincoln’s inauguration.

A little over a month later, on April 12, the opening shots of the Civil War were fired by South Carolina artillerymen at Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. When news reached the North, there was outrage followed by calls for a military response to preserve the Union. All this would fall into the lap of newly-inaugurated President Lincoln and his Cabinet.

How striking it is that, 159 years later, our nation is immersed in another serious Constitutional crisis. We do not find ourselves on a battlefield, as during the Civil War. This time, we are citizen-witnesses to a severe challenge to our form of government, as the House of Representatives (with its Democratic majority) presents its case to the Senate (with a Republican majority) for reining in a president, who has no respect for or understanding of our Constitution.

Joe Detrixhe, Concordia