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The eRace War

If you are reading this, you have seen, heard, read and or met an advocate of imposing the private passions of a ‘closed group’ on the general public. The number one thing thwarting their efforts is a general public organized around principles that undermined them. The key aspect at this moment in the evolution of intolerance is the determination and the desire of right wing extremist to shred the democratic processes that sustain the body politic incubating threats to their way of life. Their way of life can only be preserved and protected by eradicating ways of life and pursuits of happiness appertaining the life and lives coloured by difference. To save us from ourselves and the freedom for which they say they fight, when will more than a hand full of them be willing to give your way of life for their ‘God and Country’?

How far are we from the radical right wing of the Republican Party; the ‘defenders of liberty’, ‘freedom fighters’ and ‘tea party patriots’ taking up arms in defense of the ‘founding ideas and principles’ of these United States of America? Is this question worth your asking? Where are we now on the road to episodic acts of domestic terrorism against a revised hit list of persons and targets first drafted by ‘closed societies’ and groups like the Klu Klux Klan?

How we talk about and refer to the persons and targets on the hit list is the labour of G.O.P. propagandists among them Glen Beck, Tony Perkins, Ann Coulter, Michele Bachmann, Rush Limdaugh, Sarah Palin, Ralph Reed and Sen.Ted Cruz. Some of the extreme right wing rhetoric wears a colored mask in the personifications of Allen West, “Bishop” E.W. Jackson , Dinesh D’souza and Dr. Ben Carson etc..

The Cry of the True Republican

Whatever your thoughts about being shot or blown up in a federal office building (1995 ), a gay bar (1997 ), at a campaign event  (2011 ) in a planned parenthood office (2012 ), worshipping some other deity in a temple (2012) or walking home in the rain (2012-13) you would have to be dumb, deaf, colorblind and or brought by people like the Koch brothers (“Classic Koch”)and Sheldon Adelson not to hear the ‘rebel yell‘ screeching in echo chambers filled with ‘mad as hell’ right wing extremist. They are unabashedly agitating for an ‘ideal society’ that has eluded them because people of color participate in it.

“The fact is, women are in chains, and their servitude is all the more debasing because they do not realize it. ” Susan B. Anthony (1820 -1906)

Considering the current epidemic of ‘colorblindness’ on the left, perhaps this post should have been broached with a glimpse of U.S. history at a time when the questions above were answered by hangings, beatings, shootings, raping, peonage, disenfranchisement and a level of deliberate miseducation that defined an era of viscous and brutal domestic terrorism in the United States. A revealing snapshot of this not so distant past is brilliantly and intimately detailed in James Silver’s ‘Mississippi: The Closed Society‘. Any unease that you may have with the subject of this post will subside as you read Silver’s account of not what happened but how and why it could happen in the United States of America. The point of this post is not that it could happen again. It is happening again on the right, right now!

‘Closed society’, ‘echo chamber’, ‘conservative bubble‘, ‘rejection front’ etc. are phrases that surmise the polite and sometimes inadvertently blunt ways that intolerance has metathesized into various forms of subordination and domination of difference. We are now in the moment of a familiar process on the right that although beaten back many times over the last 229 years of U.S. history is attempting to ‘rise again’. The only thing more dangerous than the transformation and potential of radical right wing ‘patriots’ is the yawn of centre left politics. Nostalgic reminiscing about past triumphs of difference amplifies shallow understandings of how our past is unfolding into present and future iterations of intolerance.

 Senate hopeful Chris McDaniel embodies what the GOP fears about the tea party

“I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes” Martin Luther King Jr. Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963)

The silence of moderate whites about this new age birthing of intolerance draws upon a genuine heart-felt embrace of the substantial progress difference has made and the progressive ideas that made that progress possible. In contrast, the ‘white noise’ on the far right is a boisterous and loud denial of the reality and the social validity of difference.

The Hard-Line Republicans in the House

What exactly is happening right now on the front lines of the eRace war? A changing demographic of eligible voters is denying a core of radical right adherents the power and legitimacy of a democratic elected government. How this development is exacerbated or abated by the right depends on the inaction or action of moderate fiscal conservatives. Will citizens and politicians like Jeb Bush, Peggy Noonan, George Will, David Brooks, Condoleezza Rice, John A. Boehner*, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Bobby Jindal, Kelly Ayotte, Chris Christie, Steve Sdhmidt, Tommy Thompson and Kay Bailey Hutchison unleash or undo some of the frustrations of intolerance pent up in the local, state and national apparatus of the Republican Party and among its constituency?

Two Graphs That Should Accompany Every Discussion of the GOP’s Demographic Problem

A loyal conservative opposition to the politics and policies of the left preserves the integrity of our democracy. Cowering in fear of a barrage of blistering attacks and mean spirited primaries administered by hate-mongers, many conservatives are not only silent but incapacitated. The fear on the right of the far right is the soft underbelly of recent trends of intolerance.

The GOP Must Choose: Rush Limbaugh or Minority Voters

GOP, Right Wing, Far Right, Rino, Rhino, political cartoon

 

If white conservatives are afraid to stand-up to and speak-out against their far right wing, how should people of colour regard the radical elements on the far right? The danger here is that this fear ensures inaction on the part of responsible persons resigned to the shadows of the Republican Party. Inaction by moderate conservatives provides the time, space and place for intolerance to build and refine local, state and national networks of hate, intolerance and prejudice. The Republican Party does not just have a demographic problem, it has a problem with the difference reflected in demographic changes. In other words, the Republican Party’s problem is the demography of subordination and domination of difference.

The fringe of the radical right is already main streaming its agenda through various forms of social media. They have a sophisticated international communications network. At its centre is ‘The Fox News Network‘(*). Tailoring ignorance to state and local taste are clusters of self-affirming radio programs, tea party rallies, pundits, sheriffs, judges and analyst. Innocuous ‘independent’ think tanks like the Bradley Foundation churn out policy positions, ballot initiatives, talking points and convenient research and data that make indefensible points-of-view palatable to persons driven and blinded by private personal passionate beliefs about god, gays, abortions, female bodies, guns, non-white immigration, public education, and the role of religion beyond their private expressions of faith.

Is It Time to Roll Up the Welcome Mat Here?

The list of issues that the radical right claims as their primary motivations seems harmless enough. The devil as they say is in the details. When pushed on the specifics of their agenda, their attempt to legislate beliefs with the aim of proscribing the conduct of citizens who disagree with them is exposed. There is nothing harmless about persons whose advocacy of what they believe will not yield to democratic processes that curtail their ability to force their beliefs on others. A democratic process that does not yield to the radical right wing of a major political party is from their vantage point a dysfunctional process and a ‘call to arms’. Where they are able to manipulate democratic processes, the penalty for disobeying their patriotic and in some cases divinely inspired will is prison or other loses of freedoms that a democratic society should not take for granted.

“If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.” Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

The current ‘tea party’ brand of Republican opposition to the politics and policies of the left is only loyal to their positions and to the pursuit of their positions. They are not interested in opposing the politics and policies of Democrats. The position that Democrats take on any given issue does not matter to them. They exist to impose their agenda and position on every U.S. citizen without regard for any difference or difference of opinion that is not reflected in their world view.

When will they say ‘party be damned’ and pursue their agenda by any means they deem necessary? They have become experts of public policy ‘red herrings’ that obscure their opposition to what difference represents in a society based on freedom, justice and equality. Their goal and ideal society is the realization of how they think about god, gays, abortions, female bodies, guns, non-white immigration, public education, and the role of religion. Compromise is defeat. Community is optional. ‘Liberty or Death!’

If you are reading this, you have seen, heard, read and or met an advocate of imposing the private passions of a ‘closed group’ on the general public. The number one thing thwarting their efforts is a general public organized around principles that undermined them. The key aspect at this moment in the evolution of intolerance is the determination and the desire of right wing extremist to shred(*)(*) the democratic processes that sustain the body politic incubating threats to their way of life. Their way of life can only be preserved and protected by eradicating ways of life and pursuits of happiness appertaining the life and lives coloured by difference. To save us from ourselves and the freedom for which they say they fight, when will more than a hand full of them be willing to give your way of life for their ‘God and Country’?

” Do you think that a Protestant Popedom is annihilated in America? Do you recollect, or have you ever attended to the ecclesiastical Strifes in Maryland, Pensilvania, New York, and every part of New England? What a mercy it is that these People cannot whip and crop, and pillory and roast, as yet in the U.S.! If they could they would.” John Adams to Thomas Jefferson in 1817Freethinkers, Jacoby S. p. 66

As a nation we have been here before. Wake up!Liberty or Death‘ is not just their patriotic battle cry. It is the choice violent forms of intolerance would give us if the far right wing of the Republican Party were fully empowered. The point of this post is that this battle cry also represents the only two choices left to them if our democracy does not yield to their dysfunction. ‘Liberty or Death’?

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Curriculum Vitae

Tom L. States PhD Candidate

Fields of Interest: Political Theory, International Relations, Marxist Political Economy

Research Topic: eRacism - Conflicts of Difference

Education History: Williams College, BA Political Science; New York University, MA Politics; York University PhD Candidate

Languages: English, German

Hometown: Greenwood, Mississippi

Words of Wisdom: “IT” is what you are when you are young. Your youth mistakes certainty of the few things that you think you know for knowledge of things that it takes a life time to understand. With time and a few life experiences “IT” becomes the thing you pursue to give your life meaning. Somewhere along the way of having or getting “IT” you ask yourself, ‘Is this “IT”? Panic sets in when you realize that “IT” is your life. Fear and insecurity is that feeling you get when “IT” has not been worth a life time.

Bookshelf

Harvey, David. Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference. New York: Longman, 1996.

Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin White Masks. Trans. Charles Lam Markmann. New York: Grove Press. 1967.

Cancian, Francesca M. Gender Politics: Love and Power in the Private and Public Spheres. Gender and the Life Course. Ed. Alice S. Rossi. New York: Aldine, 1985.

Sand, Shlomo. The Invention of the Jewish People. New York: Verso, 2009.

Lay, Shawn. The Invisible Empire In The West: Toward a New Historical Appraisal of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920's. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004.

Journal

Carothers, Thomas. Think Again: Civil Society. Foreign Policy Date, (Winter: 1999-2000).

Ober, Josiah. The original meaning of "democracy": Capacity to do things, not majority rule. Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics. American Political Science Association meetings, Philadelphia, (2006).