Culturewar

I can’t remember what grade but I believe I was in junior high when our history teacher said America was a melting pot. I can’t explain why those words stuck with me but I know there are people trying to reverse that.

In 1964 Nelson Rockefeller supported an amendment to condemn political extremism within the GOP. Among those in attendance supporting Rockefeller was a hero of mine, Jackie Robinson. The far-right radical groups they were repudiating were the Communists Party, KKK, and the John Birch Society. Arizona Senator, the late Barry Goldman, was instrumental in showing those extremists out the door…. Atlantic…. Ron Brownstein… February 4, 2021. That was 56 years ago. Today’s GOP welcomes the likes of QAnon, the Proud Boys, and the Oath Keepers. I didn’t hear any pushback for those groups or for those involved in the insurrection, for that matter.

Whenever I want to talk about the siege on the White House, I don’t expect a response from a Trump supporter. Like the president who went AWOL in the last three months of his presidency, Trump supporters are completely silent on the subject. Initially, they were very vocal with their whataboutism but when that didn’t work, they shifted the blame on Antifa and BLM. No self-righteous conservative would ever commit such an act. That’s what liberal Democrats do. I saved the comments I read in our local newspaper for reference.

Trickle-down hate media sets up the talking points for the next day locals who then parrot the message to their minions. You can get up early in the morning and hear talk of Texas secession, democrats moving us to socialism, gun confiscation, and their fawning over Donald J. Trump.

I fear the failure to stamp out the “Big Lie” myth gives fodder to the extremists who want people to revolt. The locals don’t matter because they are just followers.

I just watched a senate hearing where the FBI director said there was no widespread voter fraud or evidence that Antifa led the raids on the White House. Senators Mike Lee and Josh Hawley were more interested in how the FBI gathered cell phone metadata on the day of the event. Sounded liked it spooked some senators. Senator Grassley was more interested in the investigation of those who participated in the summer riots.

How are we ever get to the bottom of what happened on January 6, 2021, if we don’t have a bipartisan 9/11 Commission type inquiry? We need to follow the money, jail, or flip those who participated in the siege and reform our protocols for handling domestic terrorism. How quickly we forget that the ‘Blind Sheikh’, Omar Rahman was convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing but we let our guard down and 9/11 happened. The Bundy Ranch standoff attracted a lot of right-wing extremists including Sean Hannity and the Oath Keepers. The armed protests over masks at the Michigan Capitol might have been a dress rehearsal for the January 6 insurrection.

The culture war has a lot to do with how we react to COVID-19 protocols. There are the wild-eyed libertarians worrying about their freedoms who were in line safely distanced to get their vaccination yesterday. Our governor, just off a winter freeze fiasco, decided to regain favor with his right-wing flank by lifting the mask mandate and reopen businesses 100% starting next Wednesday. I’m sure he wanted to stave off another right-wing opponent like Dan Patrick and of course he couldn’t resist the lure of that Spring Break money.  

The culture war can be made less painful if we start to talk to each other. In my face-to-face interactions I’m more of a listener because I want that person to fill in the parts I don’t know about.

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Michael Gomez is a retired, opinionated left-of-center, political junkie who likes to discuss issues, as opposed to ideology.

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Michael Gomez writes a politics blog on VictoriaAdvocate.com.

(8) comments

Glenn Wilson

You make some very good points, Mike, but by what standard do you judge the Communist Party to be a "far-right" radical group? Also, the late Arizona Senator was Barry Goldwater, not "Goldman".

Mike Gomez

Glenn, I stand corrected. It was a typo..I will be more careful in the future....As for the Communist party being classified as a radical right wing group, I left a source.

Glenn Wilson

Mike - From your source, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/02/republican-extremism-and-john-birch-society/617922/ , ""(Rockefeller's) resolution repudiated “the efforts of irresponsible extremist organizations,” including the Communist Party, the Ku Klux Klan, and the John Birch Society, a rapidly growing far-right grassroots group obsessed with the alleged communist infiltration of America."" The Communist Party is mentioned as an extremist group, but not a "radical right wing group", which would be illogical in the face of the constant onslaught from the John Birch Society, a truly radical right wing group.

Daniel Martin

As usual you have painted a accurate picture of the current far right mindset. “They will rip the Confederate Battle flag from my cold dead hands before I admit that Trump or the South lost!” The more I think about the angst and anger we witness from the far Right. They seem to each have a hate silo to store their brand of anger.

I remember talking to another DuPont retiree about the Tea Party. He strongly supported the group and this was in the late 90’s. Then I saw a news photo of a Tea Party rally in Colorado and many were wearing tricorner hats with a teabag attached. That’s when several were carrying AR15’s. When you mentioned the ranch stand-off the photo of the militia sniper aiming at a Federal Officer the earth tilted for me.

How far can this continue? Until a lie is no longer the coin of the realm.

Mike Gomez

Tomorrow,the National Guard and the Capitol police will be on high alert awaiting a second attack on the Capitol that is based on the “ Big Lie.”

Esther Ford

I heard the same comment from my teachers in junior high, The idea was that all these cultures would just melt into the American culture so we could all just be "American." By the time I was working on my master's degree in the eighties, the courses I took in Ethnic Studies seemed to have rejected that idea. Not only was that impossible because of human nature, they argued, but it would be better to think of it as a salad rather than a soup. In a soup, all the flavors melt together and become undistinguishable from each other, and the dominant ingredient determines the taste, In a salad, each ingredient retains its own characteristics and brings a unique taste to form a new dish. In other words, each ethnic group adds their own unique cultural features in order to form a new "American" culture. I often think abut those two conflicting ideas.

Mike Gomez

Esther,the salad apology is a great one. ...I’ve wondered what American values meant...could those values be found in the Rio Grande Valley? How about in the inner cities?

Glenn Wilson

Excellent analogy. I wish all the rabid proponents of Political Correctness would come around to your view, sooner rather than later.

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