By Dan Bodine
Remember well growing up in the Segregated South (Texas, aka ‘nother Buckle on Bible Belt) in the ’50s in Cleburne. Fear of a Yankee plot in the air: ‘Em Blacks (polite word) multiplying like rabbits! Hell, soon they’ll overtake us! We gotta do sumpthin’!
Duh…Jethro, ‘ya may be too late to stop whatever it was that happened then! Census counts don’t lie, though, now. But if’n you want to act like a cultural idiot and git up on ‘ya high horse, think like a white supremacist, get outta my head! You’re in a New Reality! Latinos showing up like the newest cool!
Hee, hee! Thanks to God and Greyhound, most of the nation’s Jethros are all grown up now. Political economies shrunk high horses to cotter pins!
Jethro was never a white supremacist, though! But he was a Yáhoo, once! Had to talk rough to him many times. [Those unfamiliar with inner child tantrums in adulthood may want to jump to transactional analysis]
Still, as an alter ego — e.g., spinoff of a poor ol’ housepainter’s boy steeped religiously in the ol’ cultural South — our progress outside of the worst has been tolerable. But the best is still dearly beloved.
White Supremacist, though, this term now being bandied about by right wing extremists, is foreign to us. Surely it’s a washable cultural flake flushed up from fear — squeezed out by today’s extremism! Still several cuts outta Jethro‘s pay class, though, for sure!
Don’t know where it’s going to, either! Hell, I rarely ever dabble in fortune telling, but all one has to do for a hint is to look at the ’20 Census and see’s who’s moving and who’s not!
See where head count magnetism is drawing politics, i.e., know what I mean? And it’s to neither Blacks nor Whites! It’s Latinos!
Gittin’ huffy over African American’s outnumbering ‘ya makes about as much sense as switching ends of your paddle in a sinking boat! Want to stay alive in these waters, find you another party or idea you can float on, no?! Hell, forget the color!
And just as there’s no future in cryin’ over spilt milk with these Latinos, Jethro, there’s no reason to worry about a Republican Party destruction either! Parties coming and going out of power in American politics — and reimagining themselves later — isn’t that uncommon, if’n you go back a ways!
“What we refer to as the two-party system has collapsed twice before,” quotes The Atlantic staff writer David A. Graham. “The Democratic and the Republican Parties have endured as long as they have because they have significantly altered their identities to remain viable; in a sense, each has come to represent what it once reviled.”
My emphasis on the end there; Jethro did that. Graham actually was quoting Jelani Cobb earlier in the New Yorker.
Hee, hee! I’m an old man, yes! But I’ve seen some stuff, too! In Fall of ’52 (presidential election year, yes!), i.e., I first got hooked on politics! [No, it was actually watching millions of French citizens cheer Charles de Gaulle‘s return to Paris on TV, in ’47! That was seared in me!]
But my 3rd grade teacher seared me again in ’52 when she asked me to carry a GOP “I Like Ike” placard around in a political parade — on the playgrounds at Cooke Elementary School in Cleburne. Johnson County was Democratic, but Dwight Eisenhower had rallied us from a terrible war. Conservatism was ingrained at that moment.
‘Course politics flipped it several shades in later years but rest assured that ol’ brand hangs ’round! And now another generation of sign-bearers — I’m thinking; hell, maybe enough Democratic moderates — will come in and sweep crackpot Republicans out of office this year, too.
History would be repeating itself. Again. Wouldn’t mean the end of the Republican Party, though.
“…(T)he GOP could continue to use voter-suppression laws, combined with its structural advantages, to remain a powerful party even without the ability to win majority national support,” writes Cobb.
I sure wouldn’t want any part of it, though! Ooeee! Neither does Jethro. He and I usually see things eye to eye! Now.
As to the future, hijole, admittedly I’ve can’t recall seeing American politics as divisive as it is now. But I think Republicans are counting their eggs before they hatch in the ’22 midterms.
The world stands at a “precipice,” President Biden repeatedly has said in countering Russia’s threat to invade Ukraine. Nuclear war? In starting a world war now, it’s like asking which side wants to self-destruct first! Ain’t a gonna happen!
The Ukrainian situation is all over hegemony — e.g., who is perceived to have the weakest position in Europe? And what more does Russia’s President Putin want? Clearly ambivalent, it seems.
Meaning same chapter, different verse — a tantrum! Aka, As the World Turns’ old TV soap!
Don’t lose any sleep over Trump’s Republicans or Putin’s Russia either one! Eh, Jethro!?
It’s just another Yankee eggroll.
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