There are a lot of people trying to figure out just how Donald Trump is doing so well in the Republican primaries. Most pundits are saying that Americans are showing their “anger” in supporting Trump, and even Bernie Sanders. According to these pundits, Americans are angry that the government has been in stalemate for seven years and are just looking for an “outsider” to speak for them.
I am not so sure that “anger” is the driving force behind this primary season. I believe it is much scarier than “anger” that is driving things. I believe it is pure hate. More specifically, it is pure hate from white men that is driving this primary season.
For me, this all started back in 1968 when Richard Nixon began the Republican strategy known as the “southern strategy”. He understood that white people in the south were very upset at the Democrats because they passed the Civil Rights Bill and the Voting Rights Act.
The so-called Dixiecrats were leaving the Democratic Party because it became the party of civil rights. The Dixiecrats wanted the old school “separate but equal” policies they grew up with in the south. Nixon knew that the south was prime area for the Republicans to gain ground. Even though it went Democratic in the past.
At the same time, the anti-Vietnam war demonstrations were gaining ground. More and more people we coming out against the war. The protesters were mostly young and college students. They were the Hippies. They proved to be a great target for Nixon as well. It was then the term “silent majority” came into being.
What the “silent majority” meant was everyone who did not favor civil rights, voting rights, or was opposed to the war. My parents generation, the one of the great depression and World War Two, were the major electorate at the time. That generation sided with at least one of the three main targets of the “silent majority”.
Nixon won the election mainly because he was able to “blame” someone else for the problems of the country. He stoked fears and hate among the white establishment and succeeded in getting to the White House. This practice of “blaming” those “others” became the heart of Republican strategy ever since.
We saw it again in 1980, 1988, 2000, and today. The object is to create fear among the American people. If you can create enough fear, you don’t have to talk about policies. You don’t have to justify your plans for the future to anyone. You just need to assure them you are the magic bullet that will put their fear to rest.
But, in order for fear to work, you also need to stoke the flames of hate. Without hate, fear will not take root enough to win. Hate is the driving factor. Americans need to hate something or someone. It can be blacks, communists, socialists, Latinos, or any other group such as gays. The target changes as the world changes.
Today we are seeing this hate stoked in all corners of the country. In the last several years the target became Latinos, Muslims, Gays, and Women. You are being told that Latinos are all “illegals” who are here to rape your women. You are being told that all Terrorists are Muslims. You being told that Gays are trying to “recruit” your children. You are being told that Women are “baby killers” who deserve prison sentences.
Naturally, they don’t use those exact words. They codify them. All of this is in the name of security, controlling our borders, and “religious freedom”. That way the media won’t call out our politicians for doing what they are doing, namely spreading hate.
But this isn’t contained just with the Republican Presidential candidates. It has spread to states run by Republicans. We have seen laws passed to restrict voting. We have seen laws to outlaw same-sex marriage. Then when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, we have seen states pass anti-LGBT laws that basically legalizes discrimination.
It was almost like watching a contest between states as to who could pass the worst most anti-Constitutional laws possible. Today, Mississippi is the winner of these awful laws. The law that just passed the state house is the worst one yet.
They didn’t stop at just discriminating against gays. They have basically targeted everyone who is not Evangelical Christian. There are three “principles” that allow business to discriminate. The law reds:
The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that:
(a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of
one man and one woman;
(b) Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a
(c) Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.
According to this law, if you are a same-sex couple you can be discriminated against. If you are a transgender, you can be discriminated against. If you are a heterosexual couple who have had sex outside of marriage, you can be discriminated against.
It is also determining which “religious beliefs” are legitimate. If you belong to a church that does not preach hate against other people, and there are a lot of those, the state is saying too bad. Your Religious Beliefs don’t count. In other words, they are defining what “religious beliefs” will be recognized by the state. A clear violation of the First Amendment.
But, that is precisely what the state wants. They want to be able to tell people how to live. They want to tell people how to behave. They want to be able to tell people which groups are acceptable and which aren’t. If you fall into one of the unacceptable groups, you don’t get the same civil rights as those who fall under the acceptable groups.
See this law goes even further. If you are a woman and work at an office, if the boss decides that his “religious beliefs” mean you need to wear only dresses and wear makeup at work he can fire you if you refuse. And, there will be nothing you can do about it. This law states that the state cannot interfere.
There is a case in another state where a man accused of beating his wife is using his “religious beliefs” as his defense. He claims that since women are subordinate to men according to the bible his actions are not criminal and he is protected by “religious freedoms”.
The Presidential candidates on the Republican side are keeping silent on these measures. The reason is because they all believe in them. They are all spreading hate. That is the central meme behind all of their campaigns.
We have seen this before. I cannot remember it being as bad as it is today, but we have seen it before. Fortunately, as a country, we eventually turned our backs on this hate. But, this year, too much of the country seems ready to accept it at face value.
The only difference between candidates, at all levels, of the Republican Party is just how openly you are willing to discuss the hate issues. The Party isn’t happy with Trump, not because he is any different than Cruz, but because he is openly talking about the hate meme.
They believe that hate is the winning formula. I believe that the American people will reject this hate and defeat them, at least nationally. I am not so sure about the state and local levels. Gerrymandering has assured them majorities in many states.
I look at the current Republican Party and wonder just how we came to this point. Americans are generous, caring people. They will open their hears and wallets to those who need help. So how is it possible that they would fall into the hate trap?
The Republican economic policies favor only the 1%. Their “civil rights” policies only favor bigots. They have become a party full of haters. They have become a party that is more un-American than any Party in the past. They hate the very idea of civil rights for all. They hate the idea that workers deserve a livable wage for their work. They hate the idea of our country being a country that accepts the “downtrodden” as stated on the Statue of Liberty.
In essence they have become the very definition of pure evil. I cannot come up with any other phrase to describe them. This is not an accident. This has been ongoing in their party for 40 years.
It really isn’t “anger” that Republicans are feeding on. It is hate. It is evil. It is everything that our country stands against. This madness will not end until we the people tell them to stop. We need to show them that hate is not what America is all about. Maybe then, we will get the real Republicans to take back their party and we can get back to running our country.
It is either that, or the “shirts” will keep marching along.