Saturday, August 15, 2009


The upsurge of overwrought, red-faced screaming white people mobbing health care forums, or parading around with tea bags hanging from their WalMart hats has set some commentators to musing about what's behind this backlash. It's not so hard to fathom.

A common sight on our TV screens is some grossly overweight "middle American" holding up a sign about Obama's death panels, weeping into the Fox News microphone saying that "We are losing our country!" Or they might phrase it, "are we losing our America?" The answer is : YES.

Millions of white, stupid American are losing their country. And it's about time. This ignorant, whining mass of racists, religious fascists, and fast food consumers deserves any misfortune they get. Demographics are putting them into a minority status. They are kicking up a fuss, but their social weight and political power is slipping away, and it's all for the good.

These are the ones who thought Jim Crow America was great, who bought into every dumb-ass military adventure or CIA caper from Guatemala and Iran in 1954, to the Domincan invasion of 1965 ... Chile 1973, Vietnam, Grenada! nauseum. They were Nixon's silent majority and their kids became Regan's born-again racists as he cashed in on the Southern Strategy.

Let these dopes become an abused, shut-out minority. Let this country be flooded by smart, enterprising people from Mexico, Nigeria, China. Let's see mosques and Hindu temples abound (I'd prefer that everyone would be an atheist, but you can't have everything), let's see chicken fried steak driven out by curried lamb. Let's see the NFL and MLB be eclipsed by soccer (real football) and cricket (maybe I'll understand the rules by then). Let's see if the future non-redneck majority of the state of Georgia wants the Confederate battle flag to remain part of the state flag.

"We're losing our American values, our culture" wail the brigades of porcine rightist populists from small town USA (even those of them who live in larger cities are mentally small-town). What values? White people are the anointed ones, the only real Americans. Culture? They haven't given us Jazz, or Blues or Theater, literature or cinema. Besides corn dogs and NASCAR what have they produced? Billie Ray Cyrus?

These people (the book, by Thomas Frank, "What's the Matter With Kansas" was written about them) have been too addle-brained to act in their best economic interests. As a social class they have a common cause with organized labor and working class blacks and latinos. But no, they've never had any truck with these lesser beings. They have stuck with the middle and upper class con artists who can lead them around by the nose, whispering about god, abortion, guns, aliens (from Mars or Ecuador, same thing to them -- an opinion poll would probably find that they think nuking Roswell, NM would solve the illegal alien problem), etc.

As a consequence they have voted for and supported all of the scams that allowed the ruling rich to poison the air, water and land; loot their pension funds, sell them fake mortgages, take away their jobs and leave them dazed and confused ... seduced and abandoned.

If they are the base of the Republican party then the Republicans have no future. This won't necessarily lead to anything progressive in US politics. The Democrats will just occupy the mid-left, the center and the right of the political spectrum and do what major political parties have always done: represent the interests of finance capital and corporations (the Democrats are just smarter at it than the Republicans). To paraphrase what Bill Maher quipped: The Republicans have moved into a mental insitution and the Democrats have become Republicans.

The "true" Americans of Sarah Palin's constituency can't understand any of this ... no surprise there.

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