The Greatest Single Political Tragedy Of The Last Several Decades

What we have come to see as Trump supporter types have been around forever in America, particularly so in the unreformed South. The hit TV comedy of some years ago, All in the Family, lampooned the lower middleclass, xenophobic White bigot, Archie Bunker. You could have gone to almost any neighborhood bar 50 years back and listened to the very same nonsense that Trump supporters and the alt-right spout today.

So what’s new? The huge difference is that these mostly lower middle-class White malcontents have been lured into a single political party backed by a far right media the likes of Fox News, Breitbart.com and “conservative” talk radio. Up until relatively recently the power of these lesser angels of the American society were somewhat harmlessly defused between the two major political parties and splinter parties.

But then, desperate for votes, beginning with the Regan Southern strategy, the GOP commenced a dog whistling campaign to recruit the know-nothings to its cause. The unforeseen, however, manifested itself within the GOP, when, with the Donald as their leader, the misfits gained enormous political leverage and took over the party. They have replaced traditional conservative ideology with a primitive tribalist outlook of mostly us against the “other” as their unifying mindset.

It is this unification of the anti intellectual, anti scientific and anti American idealist into a single know-nothing political party that is the most important force for change today. Indeed, it is this most powerful egocentric run of the mill mass movement of reactionaries in which blind emotion trumps deliberative thinking that is the great seismic shift in the political landscape, a tectonic political shift that currently has lead America to the Tragedy of the Trump presidency.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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