There's work to be done
As the late great John Lewis always understood, the fight for racial justice and voter rights is a never ending battle. Never was this more evident than it is today in America. I had thought in the summer of 2020, that real opportunity for change had arrived. Even people that had previously stayed silent on the subject of racial justice, took to the streets to say 'enough is enough'. If ever you wanted to see the reaction of the right to the possibility that minority communities needed to be listened to, you got your answer. Peaceful protests were met with state brutality, as protesters were branded as thugs and criminals following looting and clashes with police. It was alleged that cities were being burned to the ground and suburbia was under threat from mobs of blacks intimidating while families. It was an extension of the migrant caravans and MS 13 invasion. They knew nationalist propaganda would play well with white non educated men, who in turn persuaded their women that the threat was real.
The problem with American society, is that you have to 'pick a side'. Once you have bought into this tribal logic, then the racial divide just grows and grows. It's the resulting divide, that gives the GOP the oxygen it needs to stoke more fear and resentment. The US has reached a frightening political crossroads at which Republicans know there is no path to electoral victory under the normal rules of engagement. Trump shifted them from corporate money to race driven small donations from the huge following he cultivated. The problem they now have with this new Republican base, is that it is not really Republican, it's simply the cult of one man politics and that man is holding the Republican Party hostage as a result. The likes of Hawley, Cruz and DeSantis are in their minds, the natural successors to this bizarre cult of racist revolutionaries. The reality is, they don't stand a chance of wresting away power from the mad king.
2022 will be the litmus test that will define the future of American society and the GOP is very aware of this. The right wing media and in particular Tucker Carlson, are now aligning themselves with the 'white replacement' conspiracy theory. If you think about it, it's the natural successor to the big lie. Republicans know that they can't maintain this ludicrous narrative, that Trump is really still the president and that a new day of redemption is just around the corner. They now need to sow the seeds of a new lie and the convergence of immigration with voter rights is the perfect story line. The new political sell, is the 'canceling of white votes'. There will be no attempts to appeal to minority voters with minority friendly policies. Instead, they look set to breed hatred through the percieved cancellation of the white vote. Mark my words, this is the next assault on democracy and it's already started, as Tucker Carlson begins spreading it to his Fox viewers.
Just go and take a look at the Twitter feeds of the likes of Cruz, Boebert, Cornyn and the like and you will see that the southern border is the premier talking point. They know that for this new narrative to gain the traction they need, they have to get Americans obsessing on the 'migrant invasion' that is being 'encouraged' by the new Administration. Of course if a few police officers shoot a few black folk and start a few riots, all the better. This injects a little more pace into the argument.
Moving forward, it looks set to be the battle of fear versus achievement. The GOP know that Biden is building a message of hope and prosperity for millions of Americans who have long since been left behind. He knows the importance of the black and minority vote and is building a foundation of policies that will help them lift themselves out of poverty and provide a better life for their families. At the same time, he has to reassure middle class Americans that this better society will not be delivered at their expense.
In a normal political environment, it's a battle of ideas through policy. However in this case, there is only one party that has any policies. The opposition position, is to simply object and obstruct. There is no platform other than tax cuts for the rich and deregulation of anything that gets in the way of the rich getting richer. In a normal world, the electorate would laugh the Republican agenda out of the room. However, in the US it is embraced by people that frankly should know better. Given what Trump did when he was in office, leading to the death of almost half a million Americans by the time he left, you would think no right minded American would ever consider voting for him again. Unfortunately, if he is able to run in 2024, millions of people will line up behind him once more and that's a problem.
In the 4 years of the Trump administration, US politics changed forever. Creative license with the truth has always been part of the electoral process, but Trump turned the outright lie into a weapon of political mass destruction. He fractured the political psyche to the extent that autocracy became appealing to millions. The new rules of political engagement are, there are no rules. It's just a case of gain power at all cost and this is what is playing out with a co-ordinated attack on voter rights. Whilst Biden is trying to heal a nation, the GOP is planting racist conspiracy theories to ensure come 2022, the nation is more divided than ever.
Let there be no doubt, there is nothing the GOP wants more than for the jury in the George Floyd trial to find Derek Chauvin not guilty. They want to see cities on fire as outrage sweeps the nation. They want to tell their racist supporters that this is what black people really want. They are prepared to see the country burn to achieve their political objectives. Republicans are constructing the biggest racist political IED in US history and they will have no problem detonating it when the time is right.
The frustrating thing is, there's a potential bomb disposal guy out there and unless he steps forward to cut the white wire, America looks set to return to the 1950s in 2022. The name of that bomb disposal guy is Joe Manchin. The question is, is this man a hero or a zero? He loves the spotlight, but will he enjoy infamy as much, if he detonates his own democracy?