Many people are going to attack the logic of the statement itself, and there’s much to attack it on. Negotiations require, to some degree, an acceptance of the legitimacy of the viewpoints on the other side. Given that the civil war was fought to maintain chattel slavery as the dominant mode of economic production in the south, it is puzzling that Trump conceives of a negotiation that legitimizes the concept of owning other human beings.
And everywhere else that had chattel slavery – which was most places across time and geography – managed to get rid of it without a civil war.
So Trump’s question isn’t in fact that stupid, is it?
Negotiations are possible. The Empire got rid of it in 1833, compensation being deployed. Brazil took until the 1880s, still no civil war. Mauretania, legally at least, had it until 1984, no civil war.
It is actually an interesting question therefore, why did the US have the civil war? Even if we accept that it was just about chattel slavery, which it wasn’t, why was the American case so different?
What this actually is is an example of that American exceptionalism the left so often decries. Because the US had a civil war over slavery therefore the only way to deal with slavery is a civil war. Entirely missing the manner in which the rest of the world didn’t.