Thoughtful and equitable governing is needed now. Or else …
I’ve shared offline conversations for a few weeks with my friends about the effects of Trump and MAGA-ism: the President — through more than a decade of practice — has tapped into the kind of toxic energy that mainstream American politics hasn’t seen since the days of George Wallace’s White House aspirations.
The kind of toxic energy that has made political parties apologetically reactive; invaded legislative agendas, or hollowed them; created public anxiety; running for public office without cover; justified irrational hate; and occupied the White House for four years.
But don’t mistake this thought as another one of those racism-started-on-the-eighth-day-of-November-2016 dogma pieces.
Like I mentioned in August, today’s fake-Christian fundamentalist death cult comes from easily-identifiable bloodlines:
They are descendants of the slave-holding Confederacy, a century before switching their party allegiance from Democrat to Republican. Champions of the terrorism campaign y’all call “Reconstruction”. Founders of the Ku Klux Klan. Deacons of the Jim Crow South. Faithful poll taxers. Devout lynchers. Parishioners of President Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy. Worshipers of the KKK’s resurgence during the 1970s. Firebombers of Black churches. Cantors of “All Lives Matter”.
Hell, they still burn crosses.
Most political leaders stay away from this energy since — aside from its hatred towards darker-hued people and others who disagree with its hatred — this energy is violently unpredictable. Other politicians may not directly tap into this energy, but will quietly accept its patronage.
But Trump did something worse. He directly tapped into this toxic energy, weaponized it, and then branded and popularized it for mainstream acceptance and engagement.
We wouldn’t have seen much of this recent incident 20 years ago:
It’s now nearly impossible to put this energy back in its small-town bottle, or its seven-figure urban condominiums.
But Joe Biden can channel this energy to safer spaces by driving the kind of economic development that makes Americans spend more time enjoying their windfalls.
Hatred is pervasive, but it’s no secret that some Trump voters were once supporters of President Barack Obama.
With White supremacy at its core, spectacularly-adverse economic events — or social inequality, left to grow unaddressed — provides a fertile ground for blaming others, and leads to the emergence of leaders who can direct this blame to yield deadly harvests.
Existing data points support this idea. Look at the Right-wing movements that have risen across the world, along with the familiar themes of xenophobia and anti-immigration.
The rise of Adolf Hitler is one of many historical events I can present as more evidence.
Trump was perversely smart enough to tap this energy for his political gain, but not smart enough to translate any of this activity to further enable the empire’s undistracted growth — one of the reasons why I think the establishment from both parties lost patience with him.
But the next leader who wants access to the same energy and push for fascism will be smart enough to learn from Trump’s blunders.
This is why the Biden Presidency will be a highly consequential tenure, whether he digs this reality or otherwise …
song currently stuck in my head: “so tender” – keth jarrett trio