We have just passed the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War ["Saluting Civil War anniversary," News, April 13]. While the issue of slavery is in the forefront of most thoughts and discussions of that infamous event, the state of governmental politics was the true reason that war became inevitable.

The country was founded on the rights of the individual, and the elected officials operated under the notion of states' rights over a truly national political agenda. As a result, sides were taken, lines were drawn and there was an unwillingness to compromise. The escalation of these politics led to secessionism and the war became the result.

Today, we are faced with a political machine divided by partisan politics along strict party lines. The driving forces seem to be guided by the principle of making the other party look bad. While I doubt that this will lead to a civil war of battlefields of gunfire, it seems to be leading us to battlefields of integrity, morality and civility.

Our politicians create policies that create a greater separation of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy, and we are fighting with our teachers, police and other civil servants over salaries.

There may not be any guns, or drums, but we surely need a new "Battle Cry of Freedom," or we may be confronted by a rebirth of uncivil warfare in our towns and in our streets.

Dennis McDonnell

Franklin Square