1.     January 6 was a shocking aberration.

2.     Whether due to term limit or a lost election, each US president up through Barak Obama, and each presidential candidate up through Al Gore, gracefully yielded when the time came, because that’s how the American system works.

3.     The 14th Amendment clearly disqualifies insurrectionists from public office.

Three self-evident truths? Well…

The Civil War “ended” at Appomattox in 1865 – but only in the sense that the Korean War ended at Panmunjom in 1953. Which is to say, both conflicts continued by means other than active shooting. Read up on the post-Civil War Reconstruction Era. Much later, your author, as a boy in Pennsylvania, was told the conflict was "the North versus the South.” He moved to Texas for college, where the locals spoke, and still speak, of “us vs. them.” Then Richard Nixon unleashed his “Southern strategy.”

The Civil War never ended.

When we understand this, we understand a lot. Nikki Haley committed electoral suicide when she took down confederate flags at the South Carolina capitol. Anyone who maintains the South never lost the war finds it totally reasonable to hold that Trump never lost the election. (Have you ever told a certain kind of Southerner, “You lost the war, get over it”? How far did that get you?)

The 14th Amendment, some say, only applies to Civil War-era insurrectionists? Guess what, it’s still the Civil War era. (So yes, Trump must be tossed off the ballots.)

January 6 was no aberration – it was just another in a long train of incidents from Reconstruction forced labor camps, through “segregation forever” George Wallace, through Nixon’s racist “war on drugs,” up to “poisoning the blood of our country” Trump.

Is it all clear now?

It’s no use arguing Constitutional law with a MAGA. Ridiculous as it sounds, dialog with them, if it hopes to go in a constructive direction, has to start with recognizing their feelings.*

*See “Loyalty, long lines, ‘civil war’ talk: A raging movement propels Trump”