Just how have we gotten here?
I guess a lot of it starts pre-Civil War… Poor whites in the South were played for suckers way before the Civil War started. No matter how bad they had it, they weren’t the bottom of the heap as long as there was someone who was lower than them. And slaves are pretty much on the bottom of the social scale.
Then they were convinced by their wealthy white landowners that they needed to go to war – to secede from the United States – in order to protect slavery, because without slavery, those slaves would be equal to them, take their jobs, rape their women, and destroy their lives.
There’s a cartoon or a meme out there that shows a fat cat – banker, perhaps – at a table with 12 cookies. He takes 11 of them and then points to someone else and says this guy is trying to take your cookie.
And to war they went to keep their share of that single cookie. 268,000 Confederate soldiers died. The number is believed to be low because neither side saw fit to identify or count their dead. Killed fighting for a cause you were lied to to begin with, and then ignored in death. It’s not surprising that the Confederate version of the Civil War is at odds with the Northern version. The sad part is that both versions have been so sanitized.
The Ku Klux Klan came into being immediately after the Civil War. They were founded in 1866 and by 1870 were active in every Southern state. Their war of intimidation led them to their political victories throughout the 1870s – gaining political victories in every statehouse and legislature.
They came back in the 20th century fueled by white Protestant nativist groups . They had a romanticized version of The Old South that had been taken from them – a South that never existed but 50 years after the fact, everyone fondly remembered. Not uncoincidentally, it was from 1900 to 1925 or so that the majority of Southern Monuments were built. Records show that they were meant to legitimize and dignify the white supremacist regimes that had taken hold. These are the monuments that are at the center of the latest controversies. Today, we know why they were built. And for what reason. And it ain’t “heritage.”
By the ’60s, roles had reversed and the Democrats were seen as the liberals and the Republicans as the conservatives. Nixon’s Southern Strategy brought them into the Republican Party.
Fast-Forward to the year 2000.
The Klan had been aligning itself with neo-Nazi’s and other right wing extremists since the ’70s. The advent of the internet brought them together in ways never before possible.
The election of Barack Obama in 2008 brought them crawling out from under every rock imaginable. They were still shunned by what we once called polite society, but they were emboldened by the right wing Republican news – Fox News, Breitbart, Drudge, Hannity, Limbaugh, et al. Liberals were the enemy. Un-American. The rallying cry was America First. The homos and liberals and Mexicans and feminists and Blacks were destroying their country.
The election of Donald Trump in 2016 gave them their legitimacy. Make America Great Again. Because, somehow, under a Black President, we no longer were great.
But somehow, Nazis are?!? I know we’re doing a poor job in educating people, but who in their right mind would associate themselves with NAZIS?!? The losers of the Second World War? The LOSERS of the Second World War. Why, Confederates, of course. The LOSERS of the Civil War. The losers who don’t realize they’re STILL being played by the white ruling class.
Donald Fucking Trump.
The man who spent 8 years on Twitter screaming his puny head off at 140 characters at a time, raging against Obama, his birth certificate, his illegitimacy as President, against every single thing the man did or tried to do was elected President.
Make America Great Again. Make America White Again.
The man who for the past 7 months has taken to Twitter to lambast everything under the sun somehow was eerily quiet when an American was murdered by a Nazi – IN AMERICA.
And most of the Republican Party has been silent, as well. Our elected officials – those people charged with governing these United States – are silent about an American being murdered by a Nazi in America.
This is what we have become. And far too many people let it happen.
For all of you out there who voted for Trump believing his rhetoric was just political speak – fuck you. Every one of you is to blame for this. And if you actually believed him, fuck you, twice.
For all of you who voted third party – fuck you. You, too, are to blame for this. You saw and heard what Donald Trump was and didn’t care.
And to the DNC who ran a shitty campaign for a candidate with 30 years of baggage – fuck you even more. Because your embrace of Wall Street and your disregard of the middle class and poor people of this country allowed a candidate as fucked up as Donald Trump to be elected. And your continued refusal to embrace any sort of progressive change is only going to keep this shit going. Hillary was eminently qualified to be President. Probably the most qualified person, ever. And she lost because the DNC didn’t have a message to the people.
We’re at a breaking point in this country. We can no longer allow the rich to play us for suckers pitting us against one another while they steal the pie. We need political reform. We need leaders who care about We, the People.
And we need another President.