Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The “Real American”: Resurrecting the “Southern Strategy”

Not only does President Obama have to prove he is a “Real American,” now we are ALL being asked the following questions.  Are you a “Real American?”

I thought I was……

I think I am……

I mean, I was born IN this country complete with birth certificate (for those who NEED to see it).  But it seems that isn’t enough anymore.  In the last two years, I have heard this SOOOOO much that I have started to question my own citizenship. There is a CLEAR line being drawn in the sand.  If you don’t believe as the "Real Americans" want you to believe, then you are NOT an American!!!

This sounds an awful lot like the "Southern Strategy."  While the old “Southern Strategy” focused on dividing the country based on the unfounded fears of “States rights,” the new “Real American Strategy” focuses on dividing the country based on the unfounded fears of “Anti-Americanism.”  Both are rooted in xenophobia.  They are both a form of “Southernization” which basically exploits the cultural feelings of gun control, “moral” issues (before it was abortion…today it is Same Sex Marriage), racial issues (before it was desegregation…today it is immigration), and religion.  They both appeal to white angst about the current issues. Whether it is integration, or socialization of health care, the strategy is designed to play on the fears of white Americans; to rally them and “Take America back!”

Thanks to both the Democrats (who voted against the Civil Rights Act, and Anti-Lynching Bills) AND the Republicans (who defeated Rockefeller with
Goldwater and developed Nixon’s identity-politics strategy), “States’ Rights” has become synonymous with racism.  In a similar way, “Real American” is also slowly transforming in its meaning.

Proponents of the “Real American” way are much smarter now!  Their arguments are built more in the abstract than in concrete terms.  In politics, you won’t hear the George Wallace(esq) speech (“segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever”), but you will hear that “Real Americans” come from small towns, and rural areas.  We all know that the vast number of minorities live in major (and left leaning) cities.  Coincidence?

Outside of the politicians, you will hear the “Real American” advocates say that Health Care Reform is a “Civil Rights” bill or “
Reparations for Slavery.” You will also hear them make the argument that of the 111 Supreme Court Justices in American History, the first Hispanic nomination HAD to be “Affirmative Action.” There is even an “All-American” basketball league, where “All-American” = “natural-born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race.”

Look…I’m all for people believing what they want…and saying what they want.  Heck, I will fight for the free speech of the Klan…but I do find this new hijacking of the definition of “American” very interesting.  Especially since America is a Melting Pot where the diversity of thought and opinions, freedom of religion, etc., is the very essence of America.

There used to be a point in time when people would “agree to disagree.”  Varying view points and heated debates were okay and you could even retain your citizenship at the conclusion of the debate.  But not so much anymore.  

Let’s take a test…let’s see if you are “American” or “un-American”

1.) Do you have a mistrust of intellectuals and view them as “elite?”

2.) Do you have an unapologetic loyalty to the United States military?  Do you think that each and EVERY move that the military makes is both correct, and necessary for our freedom?
3.) Do you believe in the ABSOLUTE abolishment of gun laws?  Do you believe that EVERYBODY should not only have the right to own a gun, but that they can own ANY weapon, carry it with them at ALL times, and take it into ANY building, club, or establishment?
4.) Do you believe the government’s role in society is just shy of anarchy? Do you believe that the government should have NO role in anything domestic (charities, subsidies, health care, trade, environment, retirement, social programs, technology, etc.)?
5.) Do you believe that none of our problems are of our own doing…we are perfect. PERIOD!? 6.) Do you feel we don’t contribute to issues in our environment, that our obesity issue is NOT caused by the foods we eat, or that we should not help the poor because they are only poor due to their own laziness, and helping them will only make them even more dependent?
7.) Do you believe that Managers NEVER-EVER-EVER-EVER do ANYTHING wrong, so there is absolutely NO need for a Union?
8.) Do you believe we need to “Take America Back?”
9.) Do you believe people voted for a “non-citizen, Muslim, Afro-Indonesian, socialist” for President?
10.) Do you feel that only AMERICAN CITIZENS who are CHRISTIAN can be President of the United States?

If you answered “NO” to any or all of the above, watch out, you may be un-American and may be in the crosshairs of those that are.

I guess by that rationale, I’m not either.  I wonder if my parents know???

For me, I don’t think there is a magic button solution to any one problem. I think there are times to shrink the government, but I also think there are times to expand it. I think people should be allowed to own guns, but I do think it should be regulated and monitored. I do understand the distrust in the federal government (believe me), but I trust the private sector EVEN LESS! Anytime MONEY, and NOT THE PEOPLE, is the motivating factor…I side with the people. (Ironically, the politicians are become more about the money).  

As far as “Taking America Back”…I disagreed with it when the Liberals said it against Bush, and I disagree with it now. TO ME, part of being an American is 1 part constructive criticism, 1 part support. I don’t believe you can take the Cheney approach, ranting and raving about how our policies make America weak, and then in the next breath, berate the Commander and Chief.  As if foreign nations don’t see that as a sign of American weakness.

So, are you a “Real American?”
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