Barry Werner – Democracy under challenging times
This was adapted from a message to a friend who is a loyal Democrat. She said she is appalled by President Trump’s behavior:
I was amazed that Trump won the Republican nomination, and I was even more surprised that he won the general election. Then I started to read some analyses of what had happened. I read about the phenomenon of the “fly-over” states. The mainstream establishment had almost disregarded the people living there. I also read into the history of the US since the failed Reconstruction. I read about the various issues that festered on the right of the US political system.
I came to realize the importance of Hilary Clinton’s unfortunate speech in which she insulted as well as dismissed half the Trump supporters. She said “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic – Islamophobic – you name it. … Now, some of those folks – they are irredeemable, but thankfully, they are not America.” To her credit, she went on to say “But the “other” basket – the other basket – and I know because I look at this crowd I see friends from all over America here: I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas and — as well as, you know, New York and California — but that “other” basket of people are people who feel the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures; and they’re just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but — he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they’re in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.” But, unfortunately for presidential candidate Clinton, it was the first part of her statement that stung the people on the right.
I watched the events in Charlottesville unfold in real-time. I heard what Trump said, that there were fine people on both sides. I thought he was right. I heard how his words were distorted to mean that he supported the far right and that he was a bigot. The mainstream media refused to explain clearly to their audience that the right-wing marchers had a permit to march, that they managed to maintain order in their ranks (until only one guy got out of hand, murderously so), and that the left-wing Antifas started the riot. I remember thinking that Jewish lawyers in the American Civil Liberties Union fought a case in the Supreme Court to allow Neo-Nazis to march through a Jewish neighborhood inhabited by Holocaust survivors in Skokie, Illinois, several years earlier. The mainstream media supported the ACLU’s defense of freedom of speech. Why did the Jewish Holocaust survivors in Skokie deserve less consideration than those people who wanted to take down a statue honoring a Civil War hero?
I remembered Ross Perot’s warning to the US that the “sucking” sound we hear is that of American jobs going south to Mexico. I remember the promises made to the American workers at the time that they won’t be competing against what is effectively slave labor in third world countries, or that they won’t be competing against workplaces that disregard environmental protection values. I remember that those promises to the American workers were immediately broken.
I hear the right use the term “internationalists” as a pejorative euphemism for Socialists.
Socialists? Is it true? The internationalists wanted to give American jobs to the poor people of the third world because they believe that Westerners owe an unrepayable debt to the people their ancestors had colonized long ago. They want the Americans who live in “red states,” Republican states that despise Socialism, to be punished for their supposedly evil political opinions. They want to replace the racist country which they believe the US to be, with an international Socialist order run by the people who support “Radical Black Power,” “Radical Feminist Power,” “Radical LGBTQ Power,” “Radical Islamist Power,” etc. No, they are not Socialists, they are neo-Communists.
I remember seeing the rise of anti-White racism, antisemitism, anti-Zionism, pro-Palestinian-ism, pro-Socialism, radical anti-Americanism, etc, on college campuses ever since the anti-Vietnam War era. I was there on college campuses to watch it personally. I remember how it matched the propaganda that had been disseminated by the old Soviet Union. I remember how the mainstream establishment disregarded it. I brought it up to the President of the University of Minnesota, where I was an Associate Professor at the time. I interpreted the response of the university leadership to be that they only cared that the students were not violently rebelling, and that they cared about preserving the image of respectability. Their loyalty was to the institution, the University of Minnesota, more than it was to Western civilization that they were supposed to be preserving. I presume the alumni contributions to the sports activities were more important to them.
I think about the obsession the mainstream media has about the rise of Neo-Nazis on the right, even though the influence of Neo-Nazis on the right is minimal. I think about the disregard the mainstream media has for the rise of Neo-Communists on the left and its alliance with the antisemitic, radical Islamists. The mainstream media’s obsession with antisemitism and Islamophobia on the right masks its indifference to the rise of antisemitism and radical Islamism on the left.
This reminds me of the 1920s and 1930s when the Communists and Fascists were battling each other in the streets. It’s as if the far left wants to go back to those days. Maybe they think they’ll win this time. That is what “Antifa” means, after all.
And then I think that democracy is stressed under challenging times.