Why not allow the new GOP-White narrative take root
by Oduche Azih
January 11, 2017 | 12:23 am| | | Start Conversation
In his recent article in Newsweek, in a section titled Disbelief, Cas Mudde stated:
” … in the U.S. the dominant media narrative is that (white) people didn’t vote for Trump’s core populist radical right agenda—of nativism, authoritarianism and populism—but merely protested their ” economic pain.”
Meanwhile the hardcore conservatives gloat and say the exact opposite. The middle ranks of the conservative movement here try to sustain a semblance of sanity. They go with the above liberal (mis)reading of recent political outcomes and try not to frighten the confused liberals into rallying to undertake urgent, bold and strategic remedial actions to contain the present reality. If and when the liberals come to their senses and see the current standoff exactly the way the far right sees it, (Winner takes all; take no prisoners!), then a full-fledged war will be on our hands. It promises to be messy.
The conservative war horses, wishing to entrench their new won positions on the battlefield, would want that the liberals delay their response for as long as possible allowing them to consolidate. That is exactly why a Trump surrogate who has neither met nor spoken with him in four weeks will boldly endeavour to walk back a statement he made on network television an hour earlier.
Mudde continued. “There is no doubt that 2016 was a bad year for liberals and liberal denial has not made it any better. Moreover, being in denial ensures that liberals will be unable to withstand and overcome the consequences of 2016 in 2017 and beyond.” Truly the new conservatives who are steamrolling the Obama establishment would, in their own interest, love the liberals to stick to that laid back mindset.
Now that Donald Trump has won the election it seems that it is about time we took Hilary Clinton’s advice. Campaigns are over folks. Take Trump at his words. What you see is what you get. The GOP foot soldiers, who relish in reminding Americans and the world that Trump is authentic and unscripted, now routinely bend over backwards to distance Trump from himself. This is most bizarre! Trump is Trump and must be Trump. The recent humiliation visited on Newt Gingrich should be a lesson for both conservatives and liberals alike. For example, does Trump still want to drain the Washington DC swamp or not? For goodness sake ask Trump if you can get close to do so. You will however do well to ignore Priebus, Conway, Sean Spicer, even the VP-elect Mike Pence or indeed any other pretender who claims to know what Trump is thinking. This includes the likes of outsider wannabes like Rudy Giuliani. Everyone is now Trump’s unpaid psychoanalyst. David Corn of Mother Jones, speaking on MSNBC’s Last Word on Tuesday night, January 3, 2017, said as much in so few words. This is important at a time like this when even Trump himself doesn’t know what he thinks or means.
Writing in their column THIS COULD BE AWKWARD, in cnn.com, John Blake and Tawanda Scott, presented a detailed analysis titled: How Trump’s victory turns into another ‘Lost Cause’
They wrote as follows:
. . following “Donald Trump’s recent victory, some of his supporters celebrated by flying Confederate battle flags from pickup trucks and waving them at rallies.
“But Trump’s victory may mark the resurgence of the Old South in another more sinister way: The return of “racial amnesia.”
“That’s what some historians are saying as they watch a familiar storyline emerge. Trump’s triumph is now being roundly described as a revolt by white working-class voters; racism, sexism and religious bigotry had LITTLE (Caps mine), if anything, to do with it.
Blake and Scott continued, “It was an audacious historical cover-up — to convince millions of Americans that what they’d just seen and heard hadn’t really happened. It worked then, and some historians say it could work again with Trump.
“It’s already happening again,” says Brooks D. Simpson, a leading Civil War historian who teaches at Arizona State University. “A lot of people are saying we’re going to have to unite behind the new guy and forget what he had to say. People who feel that they are part of those populations targeted by Trump are going to be told by whites to get over it.” Really?
Honestly it shouldn’t be that easy. The foundation of what we do tomorrow is often laid by what we say today and how we say them. The Trump legacy is almost fully set down in concrete even before he takes office! Yes, that is unprecedented. As it is, Donald Trump has succeeded in laying so many landmines that will require some serious effort to defuse. Where can one find the will? In Congress? That is very doubtful with all the gloating going on.
Did whites really vote Obama into power?
At this point some analyst have found it necessary to revisit the supposition that white America had voted solidly for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. Did they? Let’s check this out.
Studies have shown that “Some white Americans have felt that their physical and psychological space was being invaded by the demographic changes embodied by Obama. It’s why one historian wrote a recent New York Times column entitled “Without Obama There Would Be No Trump.”
The almost one decade long Birtherism and rejection campaign run by Trump with the barely concealed connivance of the GOP leadership was in the fullness of time embraced by the Republican rank and file, with a few crossovers from the outer fringes of the Democratic right. Why then should anyone now try to distance the GOP from a method that has worked so remarkably well?
According to the opinion column, “Those who say white voters can’t be racist because they elected a black president twice are ignoring another inconvenient fact: Obama was elected DESPITE opposition from white voters, political scientist Cornell Belcher told Vox in a recent interview.
He said whites didn’t put Obama in the White House. Obama grabbed only 43% of the white vote in 2008 and 39% in 2012.
“The majority of whites did not elect Obama, and that’s the wolf at the door,” Belcher told Vox. “The vast majority of whites did not support President Obama and President Obama won back-to-back majorities, and that caused the realization of their power waning. Mitt Romney ran up a higher score among white voters than Ronald Reagan when Reagan had a landslide in 1984.” Romney still lost. Oh boy, these barbarians are not just close to the stockages. They are within the walls. Something had to be done. There is no denying the sense of urgency during this last campaign cycle. It would be adding insult to injury if Black America and other minorities allow themselves to lose sight of what just happened.
The above data clearly suggests that whites had rejected Obama by voting for the “other” candidates 57 and 61% in the two elections. Without claiming to offer any insight into the matter of low overall voter turnout, I dare claim that the continuation of the “whitelash” ultimately led to a predictable result now being sold both as a surprise and a reaction by rust-belt whites merely protesting their ” economic pain.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Of course Hilary Clinton, purported vessel of Obama’s third term, paid the price.
The above analysis explains why it became possible and even easy for the whole white political establishment on the fringe right to unite the rest and stymie the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, appropriately named Obamacare by its opponents. Hatred for anything Obama, required that they ignored the vast majority of poor and middle-class whites, the target beneficiaries of that piece of legislation. It has yet to dawn on them that unless we return to the 1890s, which some look back on with nostalgia, there will always be more poor Whites than Blacks and or Hispanics. It is a simple matter of demographics.
We should therefore all fasten our seat belts and try our best to enjoy/survive the ride. The year 2017 will be incomplete until when Trump proves incapable, (or perhaps unwilling to invest expensive political capital) to push ahead with some of the extreme (but highly popular) promises he made to his base on the campaign trail. I expect his long-suffering supporters (call them misguided at your own peril) to hit the streets. I imagine that even in the new Trump world, campaign promises should have consequences. I leave Congress to worry, about foreign affairs, if it so desires.
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