Friday, June 05, 2015

The Civil War Never Ended

I came across this NYTimes essay today, which says the Civil War persists to this day. It's less simple than you think. The Civil War changed more than the slave issue; it recast our nation as an economy in which larger players dominated. Those who lost out economically were instructed to blame the freedom of the black man for their reduced status. The old hatred was recast and became very useful. The battlefield was still in the South.

The pleasure of old hatreds explains a lot about our present dysfunction. Hatred is a great business model; consider FoxNews. Disinformation is another wonderful profit engine, and Fox knows that too.

Here’s an example of how people’s ignorance and easy gullibility can be shaped into an eager and militant constituency.

A Union Soldier's grave allegedly predicted the disaster of having a black president.

What this dead Union Soldier and Republican did not know (and this ignorant readership would rather not know) is that the Democratic Party that favored slavery in the 19th century would repudiate racism in the 20th and that his and Lincoln’s beloved Republican Party would seize the opportunity to invite those white racists to become Republicans. Nixon’s White House would formally devise The Southern Strategy, which adopted all those unhappy worshippers of the Old Confederacy and made them diehard Republicans, who would vote down their own economic interests for the pure joy of suppressing black and brown people (…and women… and foreigners… and non-Evangelical Christians… and Muslims… etc.) “I may be poor and ignorant but I still get to feel superior to somebody!”

That is the legacy of the perpetual Civil War. Today’s Republicans are actually the New Confederacy. As a recent Washington Post essay pointed out.

It’s worth noting that Nixon, whose minions came up with the Southern Strategy also invented FoxNews.

The Washington Post reports on the invention of FoxNews by Nixon's backroom boys.

Bloomberg on the invention of the Southern Strategy.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will the South rise again? That notion being an intellectual awakening that could even include a dash of actual Christian values. I mean to say, how long and for what——and really——against whom, this grudge match? Isn’t the color theme getting just a bit tired (tard) by now? When the droughts and the floods, the tornadoes and monsoons, conspire with our dust, raising their devil, which it surly portends, will we further bury our pretty little heads to dirt? Or rather, hold to one another, our brothers and sisters, to better discover what we might need to secure our future? This nation needs to get its act together——TOGETHER——somehow, someway. Be it Jesus, Allah, Buddah, or simply a large helping of common sense.

6:35 AM  

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