I’m in Facebook jail for the next 27 days or so. That’s what we page administrators who put up content that isn’t a Coke ad or a Honda video call it when some dick-douche gets offended by the political slant of your material and mass reports it, Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t quality-check the complaint, you get your shit ripped down, it happens often enough to where Facebook puts you on time out, your time outs go from a few hours to a few days to a goddamned month and they warn you that any next infraction could cost you your page forever and ever and ever and ever…
Where was I?
Oh right. Facebook jail. I’m in it right now, and therefore cannot respond to the herp-derpiest of anger-posts sent my way to a thread on my personal account. Seen below, this comment is pretty prototypical of modern conservatives. It demonstrates the head in the sand historical view and the head up the ass contextual view that have become de rigueur for them culturally.
The context for this comment was a particularly combative debate thread from a post my friend made regarding transgender bathroom issues. So of course that eventually devolved into…
I actually went to high school with the person who made this comment, too. And I am fairly certain we were in a lot of the same classes together, but still, maybe post-high school this person just simply never took any U.S History courses. I would think in order to get the degree they hold they would’ve had to, and in that course they would have learned about Nixon’s employment of the “Southern Strategy” in 1968 wherein he played upon anger over the civil rights era and the Voting Rights Act of 1964 to gain the support of old, racist Democrats in the south that wanted to return to the days of Jim Crow. But hey, maybe not.
Believe it or not, I’ve actually encountered “public figures” in the conservative movement who denied the relevance and even existence of the Southern Strategy, so I thought I’d just let Michael Steele, the guy who used to run the Republican National Committee — tell us in his own words about whether Republicans today trade on the racism of the past. Here’s a short clip of Rachel Maddow talking about Steele’s admission at a college address, from 2010, and now I think it’s clear to everyone that Republicans who deny this are simply sticking their heads in the sand or up their own asses.
It’s pretty obvious that party and ideology aren’t the same, with or without the Southern Strategy. Just simply look at who the two parties are trying to cater to. The Republicans are trading on fears of LGBT equality and using the same religious-based arguments about God’s natural order that segregationists and slavery defenders used. The Republican Party has as its frontrunner for the presidential election later this year a man who has been picking up endorsements from actual hate groups and white supremacists, so how on Earth anyone could deny that the Republican Party has at the very least quietly courted bigotry is beyond my simple brain to comprehend.
I make no secret about the fact that I’m “Bernie or Bust” guy, and part of my rationale behind it is that the Democratic Party has started to look a little like the GOP has the last decade. They are more concerned with winning elections and raking in campaign contributions by spamming our inboxes than they are in actually finding people who can fucking govern. I also live in a solidly blue state, so I don’t have to wrestle with the moral dilemma of helping to put Trump or Cruz in office. But at the end of it all, I don’t see the Democratic Party establishment as some guardians of the liberal mantle. Clearly they’re not because their chairwoman just a couple weeks ago sided with payday lenders, and against Senator Liz Warren’s consumer protections agency.
By their very nature political parties have to have morals that can slide around a bit. If they want to stay relevant and attractive to new voters, they might have to move their own ethical boundaries a bit to win an election. Just look at Bill Clinton’s impact on the Democratic Party. He was the first definitive move away from the New Deal, which the DNC was convinced was more electable. Now, we’re seeing that identity crisis play out in his wife’s campaign against Bernie Sanders for the party’s nomination.
Like the Democrats or hate them, like the Republican or hate them, it doesn’t really matter when you’re discussing this insanely simple concept. It’s in the party’s best interests to never completely tie themselves to one ideological bent or another. The reason we haven’t seen another party go the way of the Whigs is mainly because of the drifting nature of the dominating political thought in the parties. When one gets too progressive or regressive for someone, they either switch parties or drop them both, which may account for the fact that polls are showing historical levels of independent voters right now.
Regardless of any of this, it’s the height of self-delusion for Republicans to pretend as if they aren’t the modern day Jim Crow party. They are writing laws that make women, immigrants, and LGBT+ Americans second class citizens; separate but equal as it were. I get why they’d be embarrassed to admit it, but embarrassment doesn’t absolve you from reality, and reality dictates that yes indeed the two parties shipped a lot of voters between them in the 1960’s and the result is what they look like now, no matter how much Republicans protest to the contrary.