Reclaiming their country

So a friend of mine had one of those long rants on FB about how liberals are forcing her to vote for Trump by all the terrible things they’re doing. In the discussion that followed, someone pulled the “bless your heart” card on me and recommended I seek professional help — I’m going to feel so miserable after Trump voters take their country back and fix everything we liberals have been doing.

My response was to point out that it isn’t “their” country any more than it is mine. It’s our country — all of us. Christian, Jewish or atheist. Black, white, Latino or Asian. Straight or gay. Descended from the founding fathers or a fresh-off-the-boat newly minted citizens. But that, of course, is what drives them crazy. They don’t want to share equally with people who aren’t straight WASP men; they don’t believe other people have the same right to America as they do. Even if it doesn’t affect their lives at all, it spoils their lives to know they’re not the alphas any more.

It’s not just status. As a quote at Lawyers, Guns and Money puts it,  “White Christian folks really did think they were the country,” he says. “So if you take that really seriously, [as] something they believed to the core of their being, then what’s becoming abundantly clear is that that is not true. But that is a foundational piece of their self-understanding. To fight tooth and nail for something that is going to actually undermine your basic identity is not too surprising. It runs just that deep.”

And that’s why, as I pointed out to the other commenter, they’ll be miserable even if they do win in November (or December, or January …). The past four years have been a triumph for Republicans (obligatory note, not all Republicans): two justices on the Supreme Court, one of them an accused rapist (the feminazis tried to take him down but they failed! Praise Jesus!), tax cuts for the rich, environmental laws gutted, Muslim immigration and travel bans, ACA badly damaged, cops emboldened to shoot black Americans, racism and misogyny openly aired without having to hide behind dog whistles.

Guess what? They’re still miserable. The FB post that started the discussion dripped with misery: they’re sick and tired of being criticized (as the LGM post puts it, they have a “set of views that has gone largely unchallenged for most of their lives, and upon which they honestly believe this country is based” and now people are saying they’re wrong!). They’re sick and tired of Trump being criticized! They hate being told America has a history of racism and that people of color and women suffer from discrimination! Even if nobody’s ever criticized them personally, someone out there thinks it about them!

Short of a total fascist shut down on free speech, we’re going to continue criticziing them. Gay people will keep on being openly gay. Women will keep on not being 1950s housewives submitting to their man (unless they want to). Black people, Muslims, Jews, atheists, etc. will still keep asserting their right to equality. The government will still pass laws Republicans don’t like, or fail to pass policies they embrace. They’ll have a rush of joy when Trump wins, but then they’ll notice the swamp — meaning us — isn’t drained — and they’ll go back to sulking about having to share “their” country with the Others, who are now a majority.

“This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly – done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated – we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Senator Douglas’ new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us” — Abraham Lincoln

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One response to “Reclaiming their country

  1. Pingback: Links for the ongoing storm | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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