America in Black and White Part V – The Dream Peddler

America in Black and White Part V – The Dream Peddler

America in Black and White Part V – The Dream Peddler

My hope was that there would not need to be a Part V. But America has just elected a Commander-in-Chief who, by his own words, is a racist, misogynist, and xenophobe. Our next president is someone who believes that women who have abortions should be punished, who believes that Americans of Mexican descent cannot be impartial judges, who belittles the disabled, who believes in trickle- down economics, who believes global warming is a hoax, and who would make America “great again” by bombing the living daylights out of anybody he perceives to be in our way.

In Part I, we noted that the Unites States was founded as a white nation, that all of its systems were built upon the premise that it should and always would be a white nation, and that it treats everyone other than white people as something less.

In Part II, we observed that the leaders of the British colonies revolted against England over issues of wealth and income, that the economic system they embraced and in which we live concentrates wealth in the hands of a few at the expense of many, and that then, as now, if you were born without wealth, you were likely to die without wealth.

We also said:

The ability to move up the economic ladder is a bulwark of our society. It is the American Dream encouraged by the powerful in both politics and commerce.  It works brilliantly for those who invented it – but not so well for the dreamers.

In the Real America, the chances of leapfrogging ahead are miniscule compared to the mythical size and strength and belief in the power of the Dream. Now, as the illusion melts away for more and more of Middle America, the racial antagonisms of many whites have intensified. They blame their failure to succeed and lack of opportunity on reverse discrimination, or on immigration. It is a familiar manufactured fear.

In Part III, we contrasted the Real America, as described above, with Aspirational America, where all are created equal, have unalienable rights, and where the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God are the rules by which we live.

In Part IV, we talked about Plato’s Cave and how many people prefer the comfort of shadows that are not real, and we discussed how to achieve Aspirational America. One crucial step is to accept Americans who are poor and of color, particularly black Americans, as equal human beings and do the work necessary to make it so.  But we cautioned that:

The last point is especially challenging because of greed, white fear of the loss of preferential treatment, poor whites’ perception that they are better off simply because they are white, and the need for some of the gains of white privilege to be redistributed to those negatively impacted, especially black people.

There will be much speculation about how a racist, misogynist xenophobe was elected to become our next commander-in-chief. In the end, however, one thing is clear: Trump was elected by white people – mostly working-class, but many others as well. They were women, and they were men with wives and daughters. Many have never had anything trickle down to them at all. But they came out in droves to vote for a rich white man. A Founding Father, if you will.

President Andrew Johnson, who pulled federal troops out of the South to end Reconstruction, put it succinctly: “This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am president, it shall be a government for white men.”

So now we know where we stand. The U.S. has reclaimed its whiteness and is attempting to put the rest of us back in our place. It took the South many years, but they may have finally won the Civil War. The president is the prototype for the values of dog-eat-dog competition, anything-for-a-profit, materialistic consumerism, and rugged individualism. Congress will be about small government – which means that although military spending will grow, corporate and wealth taxes will be cut and most people will have to fend for themselves.

And as for those poor and working stiffs from the farms, the small towns, the rust belt, and the unemployment line, who believe that being white is enough to ensure them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, they are not deplorable. They just don’t understand. Time will tell when they come to learn that, once again, the joke is on them.

In this newest version of an old reality, this blog may come back to haunt me.  I may be censored, fired, banned from the White House or publicly harassed.  But I had to speak because I still believe in, and will continue to fight for, Aspirational America.

Part VI – By Any Means Necessary

President’s Blog