A Startling Look At What Is Really Going On In America
Within The Republican Party
I just came across this article The Great White Backlash, The Dog Whistle, and a New Civil War
By John Reed and TRUTH kept jumping off the screen as I read it. Anyone possessing a critical THINKING mind, who feels very bewildered by the GOP CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN TEA PARTY's behavior and perhaps wonders why they appear to be committing political suicide with all their assertions about slashing programs for the poor and how wonderful that would be for our country. Oh yes, America (according to them) should be known Worldwide as a cruel and uncaring nation. Also, their War on Women which makes our nation look as though we are competing with Afghanistan (and others) on who can oppress their female population more. This article gives you a look behind the scenes (or minds) of the GOP base’s ideology and it ain’t pretty. The author conveys, it’s not a conspiracy theory... it's a blatant and frightening reality that many within this despicable group have, rattling around in their heads. Please read the entire article, an intense read that is aimed to inform and enlighten, not scare (We’ll leave the scare tactics up to the GOP CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN TEA PARTY. thinkingblue
The Great White Backlash, The Dog Whistle, and a New Civil War
By John Reed
A new phrase recently wormed its way into American political discourse, introduced, apparently, by our very own liberal talking heads, because they believe it impolitic to tell the ugly truth about a certain large sect within the Republican Party; a phrase meant to reference all of those "good ole' boy" Republican synonyms for the deeply, abiding racism the Republican party invited into its ranks with hugs and kisses after the Democratic party took the issue of civil rights away from the Elephants.
That profound racism has had many expressions before: calling a man a boy or a monkey, Willie Horton, the Southern Strategy, birtherism, Jeremiah Wright, the poll tax, the literacy test, lynching, lunch counters, fire hoses, fire bombs, buses, viscous and growling dog fangs, being called uppity, federal troops, assassinations, voter fraud, voter suppression, finger wagging, shouts of "You lie!" etc.. To be nice to the Republicans, we now call the collection of these epithets and symbolic actions "the dog whistle," and that phrase refers to race, or "otherness," particularly regarding African-Americans. It implies black Americans are somehow less American, less patriotic, less hardworking, and less-deserving of an equal chance for success in America than are white Americans. It implies that whites do the work in America while blacks and Latinos abuse the social safety net by living off of benefits provided by white tax dollars. As Rachel Maddow pointed out on her news hour on Tuesday, August 7, 2012, the "dog whistle" is always the last resort of a losing Republican presidential candidate, with the possible exception of John McCain.
Maybe. But maybe the dog whistle is always used by Republicans. Maybe we just now need a euphemism for the wide ranging forms Republicans express their solidarity with the Caucasian race because only now have we elected an African-American as President of the United States. Maybe the election of 2010 was "The Great White Backlash" against the 2008 election of President Barak Obama, putting the House in Republican hands, and many states in absolute Republican control. As a result, President Obama looks ineffective, and the states have been able to pass legislation that virtually guarantees no African-American will be elected to the White House for many years to come. Maybe America remains a ferociously, racist country and the Obama presidency a fluke of historical coindence: the growing senility of a senior Senator's candidacy, the absurd choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate, and the economic crash on the eve of the 2008 election.
The "dog whistle" is an appeal to the white voter's fear that former minorities will someday rise up and control the machinery of power in our country--the state, with all of the brute force it commands. It is the same fear once felt by white South Africans when they refused to end apartheid in a world that had proved their fear to be unfounded. The dog whistle raises fears of paying reparations for slavery, and of final accountability for the physical, social, economic, and political crimes that nearly every white voter secretly knows or intuits has been committed against minorities in the long and violent rule of the white majority in America. The specific phrase "dog whistle," apparently refers to talking over the heads of minorities, in a manner beyond their intelligence to grasp, so only white people understand the message, just as a dog whistle can only be heard by dogs.
The metaphor is apt, to the extent those whom use the dog whistle are comparable in intellect to the dullest of dogs, but fails when it presumes minorities cannot hear the whistle too; unless, for some reason, the whistlers do not care if they offend minorities, liberals and progressives. In that case, we live in dangerous times indeed, and the whistlers whistle a deadly tune. In that case, once again, civil war may threaten the Union. We all feel something big is coming, something electric hanging over an imperiled nation, like we feel an obscene clarity in the air just before a horrible storm, as daily the Right batters the electorate with lies and distortions about the Obama presidency and its supporters, and those who call themselves "progressives."
Liberals, however, give the metaphoric dog whistle too much power when they allow Republicans to sanitize their racism with such rubrics. The Left cannot allow the reactionary Right to define the terms for this debate. In truth, unwashed by the political correctness of "dog whistles," the reactionary Right is seen in all of its naked glory, free to say the dirty words of the sum of its fears: "The niggers, Jews, and spics are taking over our country." Or, those who fear the battle already lost cry out, "We're taking back our country!"
The Right's hostility to Barak Obama distorts its ideology so profoundly that it cannot even acknowledge a black man, particularly one more refined, educated, and intelligent than than the best of the Right, legally holds the Office of the Presidency. The public display of firearms around his personal appearances would never be accepted by the Secret Service, or even occur, were Obama white. And that public display, coupled with the rapidly increasing sales of firearms, viewed with the daily repetition of the theme that Obama is a bacon eating, beer drinking, non-praying, church attending, foreign born Muslim,illegitimately holding the Office of the Presidency, yet contradictorally, raised in Red diapers, has American progressives tongue-twisted as to just what to say about the hatred for Obama on the Right.
We know violence will soon erupt. We know that each new example of disrespect sharpens the crosshairs pinned on the President's back. We have not reached the shooting stage yet, although there may have been some skirmishs, but that fact is not through lack of effort by those who inflame the public airwaves every day with the latest lies about Obama's record, and the newest conspiracy theories about how Obama serves as President illegally. Except for Rush Limbaugh, who sings with impunity on public airwaves, "Barak the Magic Negro," the rest of us try to fake nice, to be fake polite to one another, no matter the real message of the other, no matter the danger aroused by the inflammatory rhetoric of the Right.
We know full well the intent of de-legitimizing the President, of portraying him as a Muslim practicing communism in America, and of whipping up hysteria over these false accusations. We know full well that those who engage in these practices talk as much to that few, imbalanced individuals who might actually take violent action against the foreign, communist, Muslim usurper illegally living in the White House as they do to their millions of somewhat normal listeners. We must remember when dealing with the reactionaries that they in fact seek to murder the President by proxy, escaping that way the guilt and the legal consequences of their intent. The same tactics have worked against doctors who provide abortion services. After raising emotions to a fever pitch, some lone gunman shoots the newest target of the "pro-life" forces who then quickly raise their hands in wonder over allegations they created the conditions for the murder, asking, "Who, me?"
Nonetheless, the polite version of letting the voters know a candidate is racist has devolved to noting that a candidate used "the dog whistle." Anything stronger and the MSM will treat us like they have treated Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for announcing on the Senate floor that he has a source with Bain Capital telling him Mitt Romney has not paid taxes in the last ten years. Reid has been criticized more roundly for this little bit of theater than Joe Wilson was criticized for screaming at Obama during his first State of the Union address, "You lie!"--basically more strongly than any of the abundant weirdness coming from Tea Party activists elected to the House such as Congressman Allen West from Florida's 22nd District, who asserts there are over 80 secret card carrying members of the Communist Party on the Democratic side of the House, probably referencing the Progressive Caucus.
The media expects such nonsense from the Republicans and dutifully reports it, but it also expects the Democrats to be wimps, and when they are not, it pounds them back in their wimp hole without mercy.
So we sanitize our criticism of Republican racism with phrases like "the dog whistle." We hear the dog whistle successfully employed when someone accuses President Obama of being the food stamp president, implying that African-Americans are the majority of Americans on food stamps, instead of white Americans, meaning that Obama throws tax revenues away supporting his lazy kinfolk. Using this whistle, originally employed by Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan kicked off his 1980 "Southern Strategy" campaign using the image of the black "Welfare Queen" driving her Cadillac through the local McDonalds in the very city, Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers were brutally murdered by the KKK with the help of the local police during the struggle for civil rights in the sixties.
We hear the dog whistle when we are told that this President, perhaps, can only be understood from the perspective of an anti-colonial, Kenyan mindset, which, for those not historically inclined, refers to the exceedingly bloody Mau Mau revolt in Kenya based upon British imperial ownership of the prime agricultural land,leading to the forced resettlement of Kenyans on reservations where they could not raise sufficient food to survive. Led by the Kikuyu and the Masai, the latter being among the most famous warriors in history, the Mau Mau nationalists were brutally suppressed by the British Conservatives using false flag attacks, concentration camps, torture, rape and mass murder in the 1950's, all learned from the Nazis in WWII, condemned as inappropriate for Jews, but considered quite appropriate for black Africans. In this context, we are to understand Barak Obama.
We hear the whistle again when this moderate to conservative President is labeled a communist, socialist, Marxist, Nazi, big spender, anti-American sell out, apologist-in-chief, when he, in fact, hardly manages to represent what precious little remains of the middle-class American dream, and speaks more eloquently about American freedom and exceptionalism than any President since Abraham Lincoln. Richard Nixon imposed wage and price controls on the nation; read that again---wage and price controls---on the entire country, and dared open relations with the Communist giant, China, but no one called him a socialist.
Ronald Reagan entered into secret negotiations with Iran, pre-election, to get the Americans held hostage in the American embassy there; held even longer, throughout much of the presidential campaign and through the lame duck period, until his inaugural day, so that although President Carter had reached an agreement with the Iranians for the hostages' release, the Iranians would not sign it, making Carter look weak in the period leading up to the election. When Reagan's mere taking of office appeared to terrorize the Iranians into releasing the hostages that very day, the myth of Reagan's fearsome, international strength was born. Those pre-election negotiations broke many laws, but chief among them was the law against treason, as defined in the U.S. Constitution, one of the narrowest of definitions used by any country in the world. Yet, Reagan was never called a traitor, or a Muslim, even when he ran secret, illegal wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador, wars Congress specifically forbade, and wars paid for with weapons sold to Iran for cash and to the reactionary forces in Nicaragua and El Salvador for drugs. His defense: "Shucks, it slipped my mind." No treason here; no impeachment, gotta love the old geezer. He's the Teflon President, said the press.
George W. Bush ran up the most massive federal debt in American history after being left a surplus by Bill Clinton, a surplus Clinton wanted to use to shore up Social Security and Medicare for the next century. Bush stole the election of 2000 through his brother Jeb, the Governor in Florida, and almost certainly in 2004 by manipulating the count in Ohio. The Ohio case was going to trial when its main witness suddenly died, a trait common to foes of the Bush dynasty. According to the Downing Street Memo, Bush and his entire Administration lied to get us in the Iraq war. They also outed an undercover CIA agent, just for personal payback, leading to an unknown number of deaths in the pro-American intelligence community. Yet, no one called Bush a traitor, openly bore arms at his appearances, or questioned his legitimacy as President, when his legitimacy was in fact questionable. It was better for the country not to do such things. So even though progressives had every reason to question the legitimacy of Bush's presidency, they did not do so on any sustained basis.
Obama wants to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire as intended by Bush but only on the wealthiest Americans, has enacted a health care plan using the private sector to provide health care, and made loans to America's automobile manufacturers, all of which will help lead to a balanced budget. Yet, Obama is the "communist, Marxist, fascist, etc."
Rachel Maddow raised two interesting points on her show a few Friday nights ago related to the use of the dog whistle in this presidential campaign. She did an in-depth analysis of Donald Trump's deep entanglement in Mitt Romney's campaign. Trump recorded robo-calls to be used all over the nation, and plans to host a number of fund raising dinners with Mitt Romney in addition to those he has already hosted with Ann Romney. He also plans to make numerous public appearances with Romney. Of course, Donald Trump, politically, is best known as the birther-in-chief of the reactionary fringe, refusing to acknowledge that the President hails from Hawaii, refusing even to examine the President's long form birth certificate, at least on camera. Trump has told on national television more out and out obvious lies about the birth certificate than he has told about his net worth.
The second point Maddow explored was the history of Dick Cheney's career. She demonstrated the overwhelming corruption involved in his entire private and public service---he used his political career to advance his private wealth and his private wealth to advance his political career--and noted that, notwithstanding such a record, Mitt Romney actively sought Cheney's public support while avoiding any mention of George W. Bush. Put Cheney on any search committee for the best person to do a prestigious or prosperous job and you can be certain he will recommend himself.
Romney's appearance with Trump, his active partnering with Trump on this campaign, is more than the poor taste of taking the stage with someone willing to use "the dog whistle." Moreover, Romney should run from an endorsement by Dick Cheney as if he were fleeing a charge of polygamy---not actively seek it out. Cheney has poll numbers as low as Congress and is considered the world over a war criminal, except in places like Saudi Arabia where Cheney's brand of politics, barbarism, is part of daily life. Yet, here in the U.S., the man stubbornly brags about the war crimes he committed, where he is yet in danger of just the right prosecutor to take him at his word.
When Gabby Giffords was shot in the mass murder within her district, Sarah Palin had crosshairs over her district as if Giffords were seen through the scope of a long range rifle. While most MSNBC hosts noted the coincidence on air, all were quick to state that, of course, Sarah Palin was in no way responsible. This is progressives gone wild with political correctness. Is there any doubt that the talking heads on the Right and certain Right-wing politicians have been amping up the hatred in their base against progressives, yelling, as the saying goes, "fire" in a crowded theater? Of course not. And Sarah Palin shoulders some of the blame for what happened to Gabby Giffords and her supporters. We should not rush to absolve when we know there is guilt to be shared. We are not the ones using language to bring the country to the brink of civil war, nor the ones carrying guns to civil protests, nor the ones advocating Second Amendment remedies if we do not get our way. The Right is guilty.
But yet, as progressives, we should no longer adopt the pleasant language of the MSM, and call that which is clearly racist a "dog whistle." Whoever states that President Obama is the food stamp president is a racist, and is playing to racists, and should be unmistakenly labeled as such, because that candidate or pundit is lying about known facts and using racial stereotypes and fears to foul the electoral soup with rage and fear and hate. He or she is no different than a George Wallace or a Bull Conner getting on the stage and pledging, "there will never be any mixing of whites and Negroes in my state." Anyone who uses any type of "dog whistle," like Donald Trump using birtherism, or Joe Wilson screaming, "You lie!" at the President during the State of the Union address, or Palin suggesting the President is secretly a Muslim or a terrorist, is also a racist, because they willingly and knowingly give vent to their racism to kindle the fire of division and racial violence in their political followers. They are rogues, trying to bring this country to the brink of civil war with lies. They are traitors, both to their nation and to the public.
If Mitt Romney took the stage with a white robed and white hooded Klansman, we progressives would shout in unison our outrage that a candidate for the presidency openly embraced racist supporters with a history of lynching, murder, and cross burning. Why, then, should we not be equally outraged when Romney embraces those supporters who continually blow the "dog whistle?" The issue is one of dress and language, but not one of substance. The Tea Party and the Republican base are no different in substance than the KKK or the early Nazi party.
Every time some two-bit hustler of a politician or pundit suggests that President Obama holds the presidency illegitimately, the odds that some wing-nut will attempt to assassinate the President grow. Whether one refuses to acknowledge his Christianity, or claims he practices Islam, or alleges he pals around with terrorists, or calls him a Nazi, a Marxist, a communist, a socialist, a Kenyan nationalist, or just a black man out of place in the White House, to that extent the accuser contributes to an atmosphere more likely to result in an assassination attempt.
We know this to be true. We know the result were it to happen: riots on a scale never imagined in America. Yet we coddle these verbal terrorists with safe language like "the far right," the new Republican base, the Right fringe, or the Tea Party. And we legitimize their racism with the cover of "the dog whistle."
When Mitt Romney takes the stage with Trump we should see only Romney alongside a white-sheeted, white-hooded, cross-burning racist, because that is the character Trump currently plays. When Romney takes the stage with Cheney, we should see only the images of mass torture and murder standing beside the candidate. We should see a narcissistic sociopath who managed to manipulate his way into the vice-presidency to control American energy and foreign policy for his own profit through stock options for most of the eight years of the George W. Bush administration. We should see beside Romney not Cheney, but Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, or SS and Gestapo head, Heinrich Himmler, for Cheney's crimes differ only in the numbers of millions tortured and killed but not in substance, and we should remember that Romney seeks to lead with Cheney's endorsement and probable advice.
There is no reason to be nice about such things any more, to call evil deeds by words that seem reasonable, but merely put a veneer of respectability over ageless iniquities. The Tea Party moved the Republican Party so far to the right that candidates with connections to openly fascist and white power organizations make serious bids for state and federal offices. We cannot afford to dance around with polite terms for racists when one of our two major parties chooses to jump into the deep end of the pool. This march to the right may not stop. We must call out the fouls with the full force of the English language, lest we follow eventually the rest of society off the precipice. The point of the Nuremburg trials was that it never happen again. We must not allow misleading language to let it happen here.
Some may argue that raising our rhetoric will only increase the conflict. That is true. However, conflict comes, whether we engage at the level of truth or not. As George Orwell wrote: "Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act." We need revolutionary acts in America. They may start something. Something like a courageous stand. Above all, unlike the Germans, we must not "go gently into that good night...but rage, rage against the dying of the light." Apologies to Dylan Thomas. http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Great-White-Backlash--by-John-Reed-120822-486.html
(about the author John Reed)
I am a retired criminal defense attorney who has also held many different positions from carpenter, teacher, short order cook, land-man, and corporate attorney.
I am also a husband and father, both roles, I suspect, do more to change a person than one's choice of profession.
I am a passionate reader, particularly of non-fiction, and attempt to keep informed on developments in the major disciplines, such as history, physics, political economy, economics, theology, linguistics, sociology, etc., through reading books, rather than the INTERNET, although the net certainly has its place. I believe the decline in reading books in the last decades is responsible for the lack of critical thinking skills reflected in the American electorate, both left and right, but that this decline was planned after the near revolution of the 1960's and early 1970's, and obtained by changes in the curriculum at the various Colleges of Education around the country to emphasize the "self-esteem" movement and the "tolerance" ideology. The latter misused the word "tolerance" to mean that all ideas, cultures, religions, ideologies, etc., are equally valid and true, rather than equally to be respected. The difference led students to believe their feelings, as opposed to empirical facts, made their opinions true.
Labels: abortion, bigotry, civil war, dog whistle, election, GOP, Paul Ryan, politics, reproduction, rights, Romney, tea party, women