I read with horror the Community Voices from Jim Hansen ("COMMUNITY VOICES: A choice between civil war or secession," June 22). If I understood it correctly, he was advocating secession, something President Lincoln abhorred. Hansen seemed to refer to secession as a necessary "divorce" to avoid unhappiness and possible subsequent violence.

Here's what Lincoln thought about secession: Physically the states cannot separate. Secession is unlawful. A government that allows secession will disintegrate into anarchy. Americans are not enemies, but friends. Secession would destroy the world's only (at that time) existing democracy and prove for all time, to future Americans and to the world, that a government of the people cannot survive.

Lincoln thought America's "experiment" in democracy was "the world's last best hope." Hansen actually says that "it's doubtful that the red (conservatives? Trump supporters?) will accept Joe Biden as president..." Is he setting up a pretext for secession? Will the so-called reds start a civil war? What happened to the rule of law?

It seems to be that Hansen is rejecting the Declaration of Independence and tearing up the Constitution. He should go back and read President Lincoln's profound thoughts on the endurance of our democracy and the perils and unlawfulness of secession. By the way, I am 73 and a lifelong Republican until three years ago when I changed to Independent. I don't carve up the country into reds and blues, liberals vs. conservatives, progressives vs. Trump supporters. My hero is Lincoln who said Americans are not enemies, but friends.

Catherine Nidever, Bakersfield

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