There has been a lot of talk of late about an essay by Michael Anton called The Flight 93 Election.
A recent article at The Intercept makes the case that the essay is essentially the basis for Trumpism.
The essay is dark and, one can argue, racist. It attacks the Black Lives Matter movement and raises the spectre of immigration.
One part of the Intercept’s article that struck me echoed something I was thinking a few days ago.
I quote: “In his inaugural address, Trump used the phrase “American carnage” to describe the way things are now. Trump was wrong about the state of our nation, which is not a wasteland from coast to coast. But if Anton’s deadly Flight 93 vision comes true, carnage may well describe our future.”source
There are indeed serious problems in the US and there always have been. Many live in poverty, both in cities and rural areas. Many suffer from opioid addiction. Health care is expensive and the ACA isn’t perfect. I could go on, but the issue here is not the problems themselves, but the response.
Almost none of the reasons cited by the current Republican administration for the nation’s woes are true. They say crime is on the rise because of the actions of illegal immigrants when statistics show that crime is much lower now than in many decades past and that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born here.source
They try to turn poor and middle class whites against African-Americans when, ultimately, they should share a common cause.
They enact policies on immigration that could have disastrous effects on the economy. There are tons of doctors in the US who were not born here, in many cases serving areas that are in need. source
There are also many scientists in the US from countries affected by the recent travel ban.source
The American agriculture industry also depends heavily on the work of immigrants. There could be significant disruption of the farm industry if the current administration has it’s way.source
If Trump voters or the administration think that these jobs should strictly be done by people born here, a lot of changes would have to occur. As for the science and medical jobs, we would need a better path to college for all citizens without the risk of crippling student loan debt.
If Americans are going to do all the seasonal farm work, food prices will have to rise dramatically.
At any rate, none of the “good jobs” (basically shorthand for factory/manufacturing work) promised by the Republican administration to it’s base are affected in any way by the people the administration seeks to demonize.
The base’s support of the administration will, sadly, get them nothing. It won’t get them health care and it won’t get them jobs. It won’t stop automation from marching on beyond where it is now, taking even more blue collar jobs.
Much of this article is an aside from my original thought.
I was out and about in my neighborhood this weekend. I live in a working/middle class neighborhood that is mostly white, but has significant Mexican, Middle Eastern and African American populations.
I couldn’t help but think as I walked along the main business street that the country I see is not the one that the Republican administration sees. The Mexican grocery store on this street had previously been a vacant storefront. Now, it is a lynchpin of the neighborhood. The Middle Eastern grocery nearby has been here for decades. They are mixed in with traditional bakeries, bars, barbershops and a host of other small businesses. It is a safe neighborhood and I am glad to live here. I do not feel fear walking down the street. The only crime I have experienced is when the white guy next door got in a fight with his girlfriend and holed himself up (purportedly with a gun), prompting the SWAT team to get involved.
My job takes me to many rural areas of the state where I live. Almost all of these rural areas now have Mexican restaurants.
Does anyone really think that my neighborhood or these small towns would be better off without these businesses?
The Republican administration is lying to you. Use your own eyes, ears and brain.
I strongly urge you to watch this US made 1947 short film on the subject of falling for fascism. It’s just as relevant now.