28 April 2020

The culture war turns hot

No, he is not my president, and no, this is not my government.

I've suggested before that there is no longer an "American nation", that the US is now two mutually-hostile nations superimposed on the same territory.  I emphasize the word "superimposed" because the division is not really geographical.  There is a strong urban-vs-rural element to it, and whole states are misleadingly called "blue" or "red" depending on which culture has the numerical majority, however slim, but in practice both "blue" and "red" cultures exist almost everywhere in the US.

For Blue America, the Trump regime is not a government but more like a foreign occupation.  Trump's bullying and threats toward the governors of Michigan, New York, and Washington, and his earlier malign neglect of disasters in California and Puerto Rico, reflects this.  So does the regime seizing medical supplies ordered by our governors and diverting them, and Moscow Mitch suggesting that "blue states" should declare bankruptcy rather than expect further help from the federal government -- which is primarily funded by our tax revenue, because our culture and the cities it dominates are the real engines of the economy, on which Red America has been battening like a lamprey for generations.

It is time to recognize reality.  The Bible-thumpers, reactionaries, racists, and miscellaneous paranoid morons comprising Red America are not our fellow countrymen.  They voted for Trump largely because he would "own the libs" and inflict pain on us.  They are our enemies, they hate us, and they are actively waging aggressive war against us.  I have nothing in common with this horde of gibbering barbarians.

This division didn't start with Trump.  It goes back at least to the Civil War.  We beat them then, at huge cost, and we should have completely crushed them and forcibly reformed their politics and culture, as we did with Germany and Japan after World War II.  Instead, over time the internal enemy gradually metastasized through the whole territory of the United States, bringing the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow and creationism in the schools and a bitter-end resistance to gay rights and women's independence -- and, in the last few decades, an infestation of increasingly stupid and deranged politicians culminating in Trump.

But even if the division has existed for generations, Red America's hysterical vilification of Obama during his presidency, and then their imposition of Trump on the country, have widened it into an unbridgeable chasm and destroyed whatever sense of common American identity did manage to exist before.

As I've pointed out before, partitioning the US is not the solution.  The two populations are too intermixed across its whole territory for any such division to be practical.  But we outnumber them, and the gap is widening as each new generation grows up more cosmopolitan and less religious than the one before.  They can only win on the national level by anti-democratic practices like gerrymandering, vote suppression, and an increasingly-open alliance with the Putin gangster-state.  Any Republican administration is a minority-rule administration.  If we win full control of the government this November, we need to be ruthless in restoring real democracy by eradicating these practices.  Red America's other device for inflicting minority rule, the Electoral College, can't be similarly abolished because it would take a Constitutional amendment -- but we are already undermining it by colonizing red states, and that will continue.

There must be no more self-delusion or mincing of words.  We will win in the end, but we need to accept the reality that we're in an all-out struggle with a real enemy that hates and despises us -- a continuation of the Civil War by other means and under new conditions.


Blogger Phil said...

Speaking as one of your gibbering barbarians, Let me tell you flat out that you had better pray that this political divide we share never, ever, really goes hot.
And since you brought up the vote rigging and gerrymandering, allow me to point out one of your sides favorite tricks, using you as an example. It's called projection.

Trump is going to win again, you know it and I know it. You can't possibly be serious about putting Joe Biden up against him, really?
He doesn't even know where he is most of the time. Unless, you guys have some VP pick that will be Biden's Dick Cheney, who runs the show behind the puppet?

28 April, 2020 02:48  
Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

And I think that some Dems and progressives have not seen this. There is no extending a hand across the aisle. Repugs ARE vicious motherfuckers and they should be treated as such. The threat to democracy is sitting right now in the White House (along with his cronies and enablers) and they all should be voted out.
And you are right, gerrymandering, voter suppression and alliances with the enemy need to be declared treason. The GOP is the party of IMPOTUS and that should not be forgotten.


28 April, 2020 04:28  
Blogger Mary said...

This is such a perfect post. It hit every button I’ve been feeling.
I’m in a red state in a red county and it’s painful, but I have blue friends and a home I love...but if I was younger, I’d move and at this point probably out of the country entirely.
I wish there was a way we could divide the country literally, but as you so aptly pointed out, it’s not practical or possible.
I feel beaten down by the stupidity I see and hear everyday and the religious nonsense is in high gear here too. But I know in reality there are pockets of this everywhere, not just the South.
And I see apathy creeping in. Even my friends who think as we do, are growing tired of hearing about trump and what the republicans are up to. There’s a sense of game over.
My take on this is a longer view than yours, though. I think trump will be re-elected and the country will continue to plunge into fascism, dictatorship or whatever and people will become more brainwashed and stupid, but then someday in the future after the US has hit rock bottom, maybe then it can morph back into some ideal we all had long ago...maybe. But this will take generations and we will be long
I know I sound pessimistic, maybe it’s my mood this morning,but I feel very discouraged. Maybe it’s because I’m older and you’re younger that you have more hope.

28 April, 2020 05:47  
Blogger Nan said...

Excellent post!

28 April, 2020 09:18  
Blogger Oblio said...


28 April, 2020 11:43  
Blogger The New York Crank said...

I'm reluctant to discuss this before the Reign of Trump is ended, but when that happens, (since you've already brought the matter up) we should consider events at the end of WWII as our best model for going forward.

A large handful Nazis were tried for their crimes, saw their crimes exposed and elucidated in a court of law, and were then hanged, including Von Ribbentrop and Streicher, A few, like Goring, Borrmann (and Hitler himself) cheated the hangman by doing themselves in. No great tragedy there. People who lived near the concentration camps were forced to walk into the concentration camps and look at the moldering bodies, the piles of skeletons, the gas chambers and crematoriums and think about what they studiously ignored for years.

Joe Trumpfan should be forced to live for six months or a year as the refugee children lived, in cages, fed bologna sandwiches but otherwise neglected medically and nutritionally. (We might interrupt the dreariness of his days with mandatory lessons on the Constitution, law, and democracy, and with work details reburying the dead who have been temporarily planted in the huge trenches of potters fields such as Hart Island in New York City.)

An excellent case can be made that the Constitution was willfully sabotaged, in one manner or another, by various members of the Trump Administration and certain members of the Supreme Court, all of whom had sworn to do just thee opposite. And that furthermore, such deliberate sabotage resulted in the death of literally thousands of innocent American citizens, weakened the nation's security, and caused severe decline in our international position of leadership. Such actions could be adjudged to be treasonous. We still have the death penalty for treason. We also have prime time television. Donald Trump, William Barr, collaborating enablers like Mitch McConnell, and, say, a dozen and a half others, might be tried, found guilty and executed for their crimes, quite openly, for all the world to see . They could thus provide a memorable lesson on the evils and ultimate wages of corruption and totalitarianism.

Germany learned that lesson well. Seventy years later it is a model of liberal democracy, considerably more so at the moment than the eroded USA at the hands of Donald Trump. The lesson can be taught here, too.

Yours with extreme crankiness,
The New York Crank

28 April, 2020 11:48  
Blogger Oblio said...

To The New York Crank... really, really fine observations, thank you! Folks like Joe Trumpfan are always the first to threaten violence if they don't get their binkie, and they have the loaded Steely Dans to wave around as proof. They are sad and pathetic examples of our countrymen.

I've had many conversations with family and friends who are mindlessly rapt by Dolt 45 and simply do not understand why and how he is poisoning our collective well. They ignore the basics of income, racial and political inequity because they don't see or experience it in their own sheltered lives. The current pandemic lays bare every aspect of those inequities.

One of the upsides to the 45 Years is that those who claim to be Conservative Republicans have exposed themselves as the venal, greedy, self-absorbed and rapacious bastards they've always been. tRumpism has unmasked them and they can never again claim the high moral or ethical ground, as if they ever had a right to that landscape to begin with.

29 April, 2020 08:32  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Yes, we will win in the end. We are the majority, and the majority is getting bigger.

But I see a problem with filling our court systems with unqualified right wing judges who can make it very difficult to overturn the gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics of the cheaters in the GOP.

A minority of Americans put Trump in the WH. It's time for the majority to kick his ass out!

29 April, 2020 09:11  
Blogger Nan said...

I do wish Blogger had more options similar to Wordpress as I would have "liked" the comment by Oblio. Good observations!

29 April, 2020 09:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

these are the same type of conservatives that were fought in the Revolutionary War. They sided with a king against democracy. To much of the conservative leaders the United States means nothing, only the CSA matters.

29 April, 2020 13:10  
Blogger Professor Chaos said...

And end the filibuster!

29 April, 2020 15:13  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Phil: You're sort of illustrating my point.

29 April, 2020 18:21  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Sixpence: Many people don't see it because they're not paying much attention to what's going on, and/or have too deep a commitment to the "both parties are similarly bad" drivel.

The Republicans will always be the Party of Trump. They embraced and enabled him, and they don't ever get to put that behind them.

Mary: Thanks! I would urge you not to give in to defeatism, though. It leads to paralysis and inaction and thus becomes self-fulfilling. At least right now, Biden is several points ahead in all the swing states, including Florida. Trump's election was due to a freak combination of several factors which is unlikely to be repeated, especially after four years of the whole country seeing his derangement and stupidity on display.

Nan & Oblio: Thanks! I appreciate it.

Crank: I don't object to the spirit of your ideas -- I do think that we need to commit to operating within the Constitution. Four years of a doofus talking about "total authority" and thinking he's above the law are enough.

29 April, 2020 18:28  
Blogger Phil said...

More than happy to do so. BTW, I am with twenty miles of you.

Just so you and the rest of your readers know, I used to literally be just like you. I voted a straight Dem ticket for thirty years, was a rabid progressive Democrat and hated everything Republican.
Then I quit drinking.
I still hate most Republicans but after watching the bullshit that the Democrats have been pulling for the last ten years I will take my chances.
I can't condone treason and that is what Adam Schiff and a couple other of your heroes have done.
Obama is at the top of that list.
Keep your eyes peeled, the evidence will be coming out.
FISAGATE will only be the beginning.

29 April, 2020 18:32  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Oblio: Threats of violence are part of how they operate, but I'm not too worried. The last time they actually tried to deliver on that, they seized a bird sanctuary visitor kiosk in the middle of nowhere and forgot to bring enough snacks. They're fundamentally inept and disorganized, however much they get their jollies from menacing talk.

Shaw: That's why enlargement of the Supreme Court is part of my restoring-democracy program. With control of both Congress and the presidency it can be done. I'm not sure what can be done about the infestation of wingnuts in the lower courts -- but I'd bet Pelosi is thinking about it.

Nan: I wish we had "liked" buttons too.

Anon: They've certainly shown they care nothing for democracy.

Chaos: Yes, that also will be necessary to get anything done.

29 April, 2020 18:33  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Phil: I rest my case.

29 April, 2020 18:35  
Blogger Victor said...

Ever since the Clinton years, when the finalization of the "Southernfication" of the GOP became clear - the switch from Democratic allegiance to Republican - I've been saying that America is experiencing a "Cold Civil War," and had been since LBJ signed the CRA & VRA.

The term is now common, as it should be.

Whether tRUMP loses or wins, there will be blood.
Most if it liberal blood.
Because the modern Confederates will seek revenge if tRUMP loses.
And joyously start killing liberals and minorities because they know there'll be little to no ramifications.

29 April, 2020 19:34  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Victor: I suppose that's possible, but I really doubt it. The wingnut internet has been awash in menacing rhetoric about killing liberals, race-mixers, Jews, etc. for years -- hell, that sort of talk goes back to The Turner Diaries. There have been occasional isolated incidents like the Bundy grazing-fee tantrum and the bird sanctuary kiosk thing, but that's all (by far the worst one was the Oklahoma City bombing, and nothing close to that has happened since). If Trump loses, I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few violent incidents, but no more than that. And for those who do go out and shoot people, there certainly will be consequences, just as there always are with mass shootings.

30 April, 2020 02:34  
Blogger Dave Dubya said...

You're right. The divisions from the War to Preserve Slavery have never been healed. Conservatives have ALWAYS sided with feudalism, slavery, monarchy, aristocracy, corporatism and suppression of majority rule. Authoritarianism is their only core principle.

Racism, white nationalism and belligerent authoritarianism have been emboldened by the Right all along. Resentment, rage, and racism go hand-in-hand.

As Phil has demonstrated so eloquently, their ideology is hate-based.

The unholy alliance forged by the economic royalists and their enraged storm troopers has born its ugly fruit. An armed mob of angry white racists has stormed the Michigan capitol building. (Imagine the bloodbath if a black crowd did the same thing.) They do not come in peace, and their intentions are not benevolent. They demand minority rule, by force, chicanery, cheating, or any other means. They are indoctrinated to hate democracy and oppose fair elections.

Indeed, they are the true enemies of tolerance, equality, and our democratic republic and all it strives to become. Enemies of our very Constitution. They want to kill good Americans who want them to have better health care and education. For that, we are "commies" to these illiterate brainwashed thugs.

Their enemies are journalists, educators, scientists and anyone who advances free thought and open inquiry. They are America's heirs of Nazism. They hate the same people.

They hate the same people.

The threat from the radical Right is very real. African Americans, Unitarians, Sikhs, etc. have been slaughtered in their places of worship. Mexicans were massacred in a shopping center. Many similar acts of Right Wing terrorism have occurred against individuals of other minorities.

Let's not delude ourselves. This is fascism, in all its malevolent manifestations.

30 April, 2020 14:09  
Blogger Victor said...

I sincerely hope you're right!

30 April, 2020 19:44  
Anonymous Curt said...

Let me just say that Phil can go fuck himself if he thinks only they are armed. Many of us are veterans and we know how to handle fat rednecks with ARs.

01 May, 2020 05:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Thank you.

01 May, 2020 10:11  
Blogger The Noble Strumpet said...

Phil just made the guy's point. In the law, we call that "intrinsic impeachment."

01 May, 2020 12:25  
Blogger Flying Junior said...


There will only be violence if Trump refuses to leave the White House after eight years. That gives us four years to work with the military, the FBI and the D.C. Police for contingency plans to forcibly removing him from power.

May the Goddess send forth her mercy.

02 May, 2020 01:39  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Dave: I really have nothing to add, or to disagree with. And let's never forget that the Civil War was all about preserving slavery. The declaration-of-secession documents issued by the Southern states at the time made that quite clear.

Victor: I'm always right :-)

Curt: Good point. Quite a lot of liberals are armed -- we certainly have grounds to be thinking of self-defense these days.

Anon: Thanks!

Strumpet: It's funny how often they do that.

Junior: I'm not ready to concede another four years of imposing wingnut judges and general chaos and incompetence. We need to deal with this problem this November. As for Trump refusing to go quietly, well, he's pissed off the military, the FBI, and just about every other major institution pretty thoroughly.

02 May, 2020 08:12  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hey, I have viewed your site for some time and was struck by the way you articulated some of the thoughts I have. Nicely done. I do feel that the republicans, after working so hard to ignore the constitution and the rule of law over the last 3 and 1/2 years, are not going to let some fickle American voters decide on how to proceed. Maybe Trump wins, steals, or negates the next election but I think he, and the republican party, realize the danger they are in if they lose the DOJ protection.

I live in a rural county in Northern Wisconsin that is undereducated, white, poor, and republican. I feel out of touch with neighbors and think that the republican party is now America's nazi party. The actions are not the same but they share the sentiment. These are bizarre times and I'm shocked at just how quickly the facade of a functioning society has collapsed. Other than that everything is okay.

02 May, 2020 18:01  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Unknown: Thanks for the kind words. The Republican party is certainly not a normal party any more. I think it's the realization that if they lose power now, they'll probably never get it back -- they've irrevocably alienated a growing majority of the population, and all it will take is one unified Democratic administration to squelch all the vote-suppression and gerrymandering they've used to sometimes win in spite of representing only a minority. Now, they're just trying to loot as much as possible before the inevitable end.

02 May, 2020 18:21  
Blogger Mary said...

I’ve often wondered why poor white and uneducated Americans do vote Republican and I think it must be religion and that we had a black president. Doesn’t seem to track logically that they are voting for the party who’s main concern is large corporations and the super rich and cutting back Medicaid and other social programs they rely on.

02 May, 2020 18:51  

Post a Comment

<< Home