It took generations for Americans to get this stupid. And that’s saying a lot when you actually look to see what passed as knowledge or just good information back then. And let’s move back then up to the 1950’s, since the Good Old Days of when America was Great was most likely that era, pre-Civil Rights and pro-Jim Crow. Can you believe Donald Trump is engaging in a War of Words – “I have the best words!” – And he’s winning!
Experts are calling him a bigot and his supporter’s racists and morons, but Trump is smart, not book smart but street smart, as in start a fight and let others get hurt. He is media smart. He and TV love each other, since they seem to need each other. We have called Reality TV programming the low point of American Culture yet now find ourselves in the middle of a Reality TV show we cannot turn off. If you believe in voting then consider using that act as “blowing up the TV and the System.” Some of Trump’s supporters are definitely racist but many of them are just angry, out of work or lost a good job for a new shitty job. It is hard to get by for many folks, they’ve seen their status drop and worry about not getting it back anytime soon. Some of this angst is race-based, the end of the white majority and the browning of America. Some say that the brown generation will soon be born and immigration adds to the brown-ness.
But it is the economy (stupid!) that is driving the populist rage for both Trump and Sanders. People used to discount the far left and the far right and just massage the big bulge in the middle, the silent majority. The extremes used to call for overthrowing the System but now it’s the middle calling for upheaval, as is their right in the Constitution. Those in the middle are no longer silent and we are not talking the so-called “moderates” like the Clintons or even the Bushes, who all made promises to the middle and sent their jobs overseas calling it Free Trade while cutting social safety nets and making for-profit prisons a new business model. They recognized the neo-con con job pulled on them by the Bush regime and see more of the same from the current GOP and now the Clintons are being called out as neo-liberals as they represent more of the same business as usual that even Republicans would feel safe investing in, I mean voting for.
These upset folks have nothing to pass on to their families after supporting the GOP (and the Dems) with generations of compliance. But something you can pass on generation to generation is wealth, as in the truly wealthy Donor Class (the 1% who bribe/donate to politicians and benefit from globalization). And now they are upset that the folks in the middle who have been voting and doing as the Donor Class have wanted all along are now fighting back (Trump!) and doing as they bloody well please.
The Donor Class of the Republican Party is now trying to fight a “guerilla war” by denying Trump the prize. It may end up being a scorched earth policy instead. His populist revolution is moving on to Cleveland for a disputed/challenged/brokered convention (in an open carry state) and the Donor Class will try to steal Trump’s crown and coronate Cruz (a reptile who everyone hates) or Kasich (a cranky old man but last human standing), and if Trump wins the fight (as he’s won every fight he’s started) then Republicans who have any shred of decency will run a third candidate. Trump says his supporters will riot if he’s denied his prize, again a threat of violence and people fighting for him in the streets.
The Democrats have figured how to squelch Bernie Sanders campaign with party rules and regulations. The Dems blamed the GOP for voter denial dirty tricks but may be doing it to Sanders. But are Americans really dumb as we say they are? Or are they just pulling off their blinders and will vote from their pocketbook or gut or racist heart and damn the party elites. Americans keep shouting at each other “across the fire.” The Haudenosunee clan system had Wolfs and Turtles debating across the council fire. The Bears did not speak, only listened and were called on to resolve a dispute that crossed the fire too many times. Kind of like Senate, House and Supreme Court. The Bears would come up with a solution, and then it was thrown across the fire to be approved by both sides. That is how consensus was formed, not that we all agree on an issue, but we agree to move forward and argue another day. That is the art of political compromise which has been utterly lacking in Washington DC. If Americans can’t act civil then that council fire will turn into a brush fire, a wildfire.
Alex Jacobs, Mohawk, is a visual artist and poet living in Santa Fe.