The "Lost Cause" mythology of certain good ol' boys in the Republican Party deliberately obfuscates the real causes of the US Civil War, as Brynn Tannehill describes in a well-written Twitter thread:
When Haley refused to say that the root cause of the Civil War, it pulled back the curtain a bit on an ugly truth: the American south has successfully waged a campaign to obfuscate history for over 100 years, to the point where they use their own supply.
Facts up front: The US Civil War started when Lincoln got elected and the south absolutely freaked out over it because he believed slavery should be phased out over time. It was an aspiration with no definitive date. He wasn't willing to split the union over the issue.
Slavery was the top issue in the 1860 election. Lincoln ran on a promise not to induct more slave states and to allow it to remain legal where it already was. He believed that it would become non-viable (eventually) and was content to let it ride out the clock for decades.
[T]he South absolutely lost their **** when he won, because they believed that his election would lead to the end of slavery... some day. They wanted it guaranteed forever. Seven of the 11 states that seceded did so before Lincoln was sworn in on March 4, 1861.
The South Carolina secession ordinance was also pretty explicit. So was the infamous "Cornerstone Speech" at the secession conference by Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens.
So, where did this nonsense about "States' rights" and "individual freedoms" come from? Basically, it comes from the south wanting to look less awful after the war when basically everyone was expected to agree that slavery was wrong. It's also key to the "Lost Cause" myth.
This reframing started as early as 1866, and is really well documented, so I shan't re-hash all of it here. But, the number one tenet of the lost cause mythology is that the civil war wasn't about slavery.
Look, I get it: accepting that you fought for something horrific is a bitter pill to swallow. No one likes to do it, and almost no one has particularly owned it (maybe the Germans after about 1967-ish? Debatable though).
Regardless, rehabilitating the South's image was a massive project. The Daughters of the Confederacy put up statues everywhere. They paid for stained glass windows of Jackson and Lee in the National Cathedral in DC.
School textbooks (that I used as a kid!) taught about "states rights", "economic anxiety" (huh, where did we hear that one before as an excuse?), and movies (Like "Birth of a Nation", "Gettysburg", and "Gods and Generals") lionized the South.
In particular, the movies told stories from a southern perspective that left out WHAT they were fighting for, and made their cause seem both noble and doomed (which is basically the Lost Cause in a nutshell). They were neo-confederate propaganda.
Which brings us to yesterday, and Nikki Haley. I don't think she believes it, but because her audience has been spoon fed the Lost Cause mythology from birth, saying the truth would get her crucified by the Republican base (which is centered on white southerners).
It's also been largely accepted by whites outside the south (geez, I hated living in Ohio). The Lost Cause has become part of the party's tribal epistemology. So, Haley resorted to euphemisms. But they still mean slavery.
States' Rights = States have the right to keep slavery legal Individual Freedoms = The "freedom" to own other people in chattel slavery.
When Trump tells his audience "I am your retribution," he's tapping into the Lost Cause Mythology. He's telling much of the audience "The south will rise again, and I will make it happen."
For more on this topic, I cannot recommend @HC_Richardson's book "How the South Won the Civil War" highly enough. It came out to late for me to incorporate into American Fascism, but I wish I had.
I've been saying as much since I first read about the Civil War in school. But about the South, to paraphrase Tom Lehrer, "we taught them a lesson in 1865 and they've hardly bothered us since then." Only, they never went away.
It baffles me that 150 years after we fought the deadliest war in US history over the subjugation of one people by another, the very same people want to re-litigate it. Maybe we should have let them leave? Probably not. But I'm just so tired of these assholes.
(I included most of Tannehill's thread as I believe Twitter won't exist much longer.)