In my last article I did my best to convince a reader that getting things because you don't deserve them--that's right--isn't worth getting. Now we see that principle written right across the continental United States, something that I tell you that never entered my mind the other day when I was writing.
The election of 2012 is finally over. It wasn't over Monday, when President Barack Obama was sworn in for his second term and the inauguration festivities ensued. It was over Thursday, when the Republican Party declared bankruptcy and announced its intention to steal every Presidential election from now on.
The Republicans might just as well announced that they have come to the full realization that they cannot win elections in the marketplace of ideas. They have nothing that appeals to the typical American voter, so they have a plan to avoid voters altogether. By creating obstacles to voting--long lines last November come to mind--and preventing people from registering as legal voters, and by rigging the way that votes are counted, they plan to create election outcomes rather than count votes. The idea of "one person, one vote" no longer has any significance to Republicans.
It isn't like this came to me as a surprise. The sickening spectacle of the vicious and petty cruelty with which the Republicans treated an African-American President ought to have been a complete preview of coming attractions. In fact, you can go back to "Get Clinton out" and remember the demonizing and delegitimizing of President Bill Clinton in the years before the Republicans actually went ahead and stole the first election of George W. Bush using the Supreme Court. They got the justices to agree not to count votes and just declare a winner--something that is nowhere in our Constitution. And the American people did not take to the streets; nothing happened. If you lost a loved one in the two wars that Bush signed up for, well, he wasn't actually elected President, you know.
The enormity of having Barack Obama beat two eminently respectable white candidates in two elections threw Republicans into the kind of reaction that you used to see frequently if you are my age, when a person from the underclass took a prize that is or was usually reserved for the privileged class. The last tsunami of such reaction was when Tiger Woods emerged as best-of-class in the game of golf. If he had not crashed and burned of his own free will there would be a different set of reasons to be watching golf.
And then there I was trying to talk you out of accepting preferential treatment if you happen to have been born white (or at least, not black). You can make that, if you were not born Latino if you are here in Arizona. I could not have asked for it, but President Obama gave me a line that I will never forget when he quoted the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from his "I Have a Dream" speech when he made a quantum leap with equality and took the position that in the arena of LGBT rights, "...their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom."
If you doubt that, remember this: it was black Christian churches (evangelical churches, even) that were torched and bombed during the Civil Rights Movement. That was in the grand tradition of torching and bombing synagogues, and in the Twenty-First Century the racists have evolved to torching and bombing mosques, including here in Tucson where I live.
I was put in particular relationship to the murder of a Middle Eastern resident of Arizona when it turned out that my supervisor at America Online back in 2001 was his nephew. The murder of this man, who was a small businessman and lived a perfectly blameless life, was attributed to his Sikh descent and the fact that he wore a turban (something that is not a Muslim custom anyway). We are living now in a time when the simple daily routine of an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut can so enrage a crazy man that he will break in and turn automatic weapons on the children, while lobby groups tell Americans to shut up and look the other way and warn their bought-and-paid-for Congressmen that they had better not stand in the way of arming mass murderers. America is the best place in the world to get your weapons of mass destruction, and don't you forget it.
So now, do you still wish to exercise your privileges when the issue goes from color to sexual orientation? When the line is drawn between straight and gay, do you hustle over to the straight side so that you can have a good day without rednecks harassing you in the food truck line? In a word, do you consent to allowing generic "white privilege" to be the government of the United States?
Republicans accused President Obama this week of nefarious intentions to relegate their party to the dustbin of history. They need not worry, for they are doing that themselves without any need for outside assistance. However, they are wrong.
They are wrong in that there will always be a conservative party. Whether it will be the American Republican Party that exists right now is another question, though, and it requires another article.