A House Divided Cannot Stand… Sing It

In this video singer/songwriter Rob Tobias uses the “House Divided” meme to make a point about our contentious current political environment. The other day I cautioned my students to be wary of the tendency to equate our own cultural and political battles with the Civil War Era. Such connections simply don’t hold up well under close scrutiny.

The video is well done and is probably worth showing to a class on Civil War memory. It’s another wonderful example of how social media is being used to interpret the past and make memory.

[Uploaded to YouTube on January 21, 2014]

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4 comments… add one
  • Doug didier Jan 23, 2014 @ 5:05

    Going through the multi hundred of posts to the history of the slave south MOOC, the house divided is in the bible. I have always assumed Lincoln was the source. So probably had an additional meme impact.

  • Brendan Bossard Jan 22, 2014 @ 17:11

    I like the song, although as you wrote, we should be wary about equating current politics with that of the Civil War era. It certainly is one that I would watch and then discuss with my son if he were old enough.

    I could be wrong, but I suspect that if we were to ask the average high-school student what Lincoln really meant when he said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” there is a 70% chance that he or she will get it wrong. The teen will probably say something like, “We’ve got to stop being Democrats and Republicans and start getting along,” which is not what Lincoln was saying.

  • JW Phillips Jan 22, 2014 @ 14:31

    “Weary” we are, wary we should also be.

    • Kevin Levin Jan 22, 2014 @ 14:32

      Thanks. Long day.

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