Posting this here although I’m still thinking this through:
I was thinking this afternoon about how LBJ said, when he signed the Civil Rights Bill, that the Democrats had lost the South for a generation. He was right, if a bit optimistic. Racism tore apart the Democratic Party in ways that are still hurting it.
And, now, maybe, racism is also tearing apart the Republicans.
Sad as it is to admit it, for years Democrats tolerated racism to keep the Southern states voting D. It allowed them to push through Social Security, the TVA, some other good stuff, even if that good stuff benefitted white people far more than African Americans. And, then, when push got down to shove, the Democratic Party (by a bare margin) did the right thing even though it cost them — and still costs them — more than a few elections.
What’s interesting is that the Republican Party, which, just like the old Dem Party has been happy to tolerate racism as long as it let them achieve their other objectives (low taxes on capital gains, deregulation, funding the military industrial complex), is now being torn apart by racism, but that’s happening at a time when the demographics are changing much more rapidly than they were were LBJ signed the Civil Rights Bill. I think that means that the cost for the Republicans may be higher and may come due sooner than it did for the Dems, but I’m still, as I said above, thinking that through.
I guess what both parties are learning is that, if we’re ever going to move forward, America is going to have to actually deal (rather than sweep under the rug) with what some (obviously non-First Peoples) have called America’s Original Sin.
It’s almost as if there are some Shadow Issues so big, and so deep, and based so thoroughly upon so much “unfaced and unfelt suffering” that they have to be addressed and not ignored, projected, buried. And the longer and the harder that we try to ignore them, the more loudly they clamor for our attention. So, maybe America needs to deal with race.
And then maybe we can talk about women.
Picture found here.