Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Song of the Bigot

It turns out that undocumented immigrants are not the scourge Donald Trump says the are after all. In fact, over the last decade, there have been fewer and fewer of them. That need not bother the Donald, for whom objective reality has little or no meaning. He can still hate them, and his supporters appear more than ready to do so, particularly if they're Muslims. There aren't ever enough forums for people longing to hate, and now Donald's got Sarah Palin, you betcha, to urge them along with him. After all, you can't expect Ann Coulter to do that job all by herself.

In fact it's gotten to the point where so-called mainstream Republicans are trying to distance themselves from overt bigotry. David Brooks, evidently, is reveling in trying to blame Trump and Cruz for the natural evolution of the GOP. Brooks, evidently, thinks the old-fashioned unspoken kind was preferable. Brooks' column more or less sings to me:

Gimme that ol' time racism,
Gimme that ol' time racism,
Gimme that ol' time racism,
It's good enough for me. 

Let's keep our hatred under wraps, pretend it doesn't exist, use the same old code words we've been using since Nixon. Let's talk about law and order instead of actually calling out those groups we hate so much. After all, it really pisses us off to be working crap jobs and have huge medical expenses. In fact, even if the medical expenses have gone down somewhat due to Obamacare, let's keep calling him a Muslim and a traitor. Let's work, therefore, to repeal Obamacare even if it hasn't hurt anyone.

Sadly, the Democrats are not much better. Bigotry flourishes in an atmosphere of oppression, and we always need someone to blame for it. Obamacare, though far from perfect, was the best the President could get in a Congress with obstructionist Republicans who would rather accomplish nothing than help the American people. But Obama didn't take much of a stand for working people, and sat in his office while they were screwed in Wisconsin and all over the country. Now SCOTUS, at the behest of their corporate overlords, is about to deal a blow to public union from which it will be very tough to recover.

Hatred is easily redirected, as Orwell was fond of noting. If you're comfortable because you're white, because you're born in the United States, and you aren't a member of a currently embattled religion, don't get all that comfortable. Another group that repressive societies like to go after is teachers. After all, they're out there telling the truth, no matter how inconvenient that is. In fact, there are a whole lot of teachers right now failing to accept the ideas of Bill Gates. Well, not all of them, but Diane Ravitch, the American Statistical Association and a lot of teachers reject his value-added mantra as junk science.

Make no mistake, we are also a target. We have been, we will be, and things can always get worse. No bigot is a good bigot, and we support the likes of Trump and Cruz at our peril. When Hillary babble inanities about closing schools that aren't "above average," I'm not convinced she's a whole lot better. She's certainly not a whole lot better informed.
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