Wednesday, November 25, 2020

White Supremacy is the Heart of the American Social Contract (2)

 This is what Republicans (and White Americans in their majority) have been for: Segregation, Endless war, Inequality, Billionaires, Capital, Guns, and Religion as primary social values. This is what Republicans (and White Americans in their majority) have been against: Desegregation, Civil rights, Women’s rights, Healthcare, Retirement, Childcare, and Public goods of any kind whatsoever.

White America, as a group, as a majority, has never, ever voted for anything even slightly towards greater equality, justice, freedom, for all. It has only ever voted to preserve, maintain, and expand its own power. They empathize with Jeff Bezos, not his workers. There is no better metaphor for what constitutes a foundational part of the Trump vote in 2020: if some people must die or suffer so that others can thrive, then so be it. Self-interest trades off other factors for cold, hard personal gain.

While Republican policy can be summed up as lower taxes for the rich and lower standards of living for everyone else, they campaign on the following, in no particular order: States Rights, Law and Order, Personal Responsibility, Fiscal Responsibility, Abortion, Voter Fraud, Religion, Hard Work, Capitalism, and Freedom.

My explanations for what these actually mean may reflect some bias on my part.

States Rights: These are important if the states are disenfranchising non-whites but should be overridden if they pass laws to protect the environment.

Law and Order: Whites have been terrified of Blacks since the days of slavery. Police are there to protect Whites from Blacks, often with tragic results for the latter. Only 16% of Republicans expressed any sympathy with Black Lives Matter. When Obama criticized the arrest of a noted African American Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates Jr., for the crime of being Black in his own home, he lost millions of White Voters and they never came back. If Biden had not come down against BLM and defunding the police, he would have lost the election.

Personal (Individual) Responsibility: essentially means “I’ve got mine; F**k you”.

Fiscal Responsibility: Republicans are only concerned with this when Democrats are in power as the Dems might spend money on Public Goods which would benefit non-whites. It doesn’t matter if Whites get hurt as long as Blacks are hurt worse. When Republicans are in power they will spend billions, if not trillions to the benefit of the wealthy 1%, which is OK; that is not socialism.

Abortion: Republican’s pro-forced-birth stance became the mantra of the Religious Right in the Civil Rights era, as they fought to maintain segregation. Since abortion isn’t really the issue, they refuse to implement any measures that would reduce the demand, such as improved pre and post natal care. As George Carlin said, “If you are pre-born, you are fine; if you are pre-kindergarten, you are f****d”.

Voter Fraud: In 2013, just a year after turnout rates for Black voters surpassed that for white voters for the first time, SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act, which provided some legal protections for Black voters, because racism had been cured. The Republican States lost no time in passing laws designed to disenfranchise Black voters. However the rate of increase in percentage of non-white votes overwhelmed the Red States ability to suppress them, hence Trump’s cry of illegal voters, meaning any one not white who voted Democrat .

Religion: The Republican version of Freedom of Religion goes back to the Pilgrim Fathers and means freedom to force my religious beliefs on you. Any argument to the contrary is deemed religious persecution and discrimination.

Hard Work, Capitalism: you do the work, we reap the benefit. See also Personal Responsibility.

Freedom: the most deliberately misunderstood and abused word in America (democracy or socialism may be second). It really is more like Free-Dumb. It means carrying a gun to Starbucks — never mind that kids get shot in schools. Not wearing a mask so you can go out and infect a block, town, city, region. Not having to obey a law or norm of decency and civilization. Not having to “believe” in science or reason or logic.

American thinking has become Soviet. It’s obvious wrong, yet because it’s become an ideology, fixed, rigid, immovable, the nation can’t seem to outgrow it or move past it. They want everyone (except themselves) to help themselves and consider any attempt to help even the playing field "socialism", and convince those who could most benefit from help to despise it because it will also help people they hate. People are not voting against what they consider to be their self interest. They would rather be on top of a garbage heap than share even a bit of their supremacy with non-whites

It has cost them dearly. In 2016, the 2,584 counties that Trump won generated just 36% of the country’s economic output, whereas the 472 counties Hillary Clinton carried equated to almost two-thirds of the nation’s aggregate economy. In 2020, Biden’s winning base in 477 counties encompasses fully 70% of America’s economic activity, while Trump’s losing base of 2,497 counties (to date) represents just 29% of the economy.

But you say, "I know these people. They are not racist monsters; they are religious people, smart, hard workers. honorable in business, good parents, good citizens, good-natured". All true but do you think that the Germans who supported Hitler were no less? And some of them were in the SS and some worked the death camps.

White Americans — the good and reasonable ones — overestimate their social group so badly. Democrats are divided into Progressives and Moderate or Corporate Dems. Progressives are trying to drag America, kicking and screaming, into at least the 20th Century and if at all possible, into the 21st Century. Moderate Dems get elected because they can be trusted to do a little but not too much to bring equality to the non-whites. IF the moderate Dems get too carried away, they will lose the next election. Senator Manchin (D, WV) has already said he will oppose any and all progressive legislation.

How to reach the unreachable? One idea I ran into was to pass highly progressive federal legislation but allow any state to completely opt out. That leaves the citizens of those states completely at the mercy of their elected state bodies. Maybe when they see other states getting public goods they can’t have, they will change their minds. If not, the moving companies will make good money as people abandon them for a better life elsewhere.

And maybe there is hope. Non-whites are getting tired of Democrats empty promises and if there ever was a time to force them to stand and deliver, now it is. And more whites are getting sick of this whole carry over from slavery and would like to see a united, diverse, and equitable country


4 comments:

  1. i want what my country should be..not what is.

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  2. I think the whole world wants that, Jackiesue.

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  3. Great Post, pretty much summed it all up. I agree with Jackiesue also, I want what my Country should be... not what is. As a Moderate Non-Partisan who is of mixed Race but looks White enough to be privvy to what a lot of Whites say when nobody Foreign or of obvious Color is around, I fully realize systemic Racism is at the Heart of many who enjoy privilege that they would permanently want to deny to ALL. It's as if they don't think there's enough to go around or that only they are entitled... this Administration just brought a lot of what was said in Private, out into the Open for all to hear and finally see... can't deny it now, 70 Million would have voted Twitler in again, in spite of everything he's done and said that is abhorrent, corrupt, Authoritarian, Misogynistic and Racist ... well, that's the Short List... we won't do the Laundry List of Negs... that speaks volumes.

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  4. Thank you, Bohemian. Yes, it is sad that America is not what it could be. That 10s of millions would have preferred another four years of Trumpism is a terrible indictment.

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