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End Political Othering And Begin Unifying The Nation Already

The New Know Nothing Movement Redux 2.0

While the President is of the opinion that the popular vote consists of votes cast by illegal immigrants and embittered losers, there are many Trump supporters who revel in this incessant blame game. The reason the repeal and replacement of Obamacare failed is the fault of Democrats even though they are the minority in both houses of congress. The Russian interference scandal surrounding Trump’s campaign has been diverted and keenly cast off in lieu of an Obama ordered “wiretapping” of Trump Tower (also known as the Tower of Babel). Lastly, the stay on executive orders for banning Muslims from entry to the US as an imperative to immigration reform is due to a few terrible ingrate judges. These are just a few of the many Trumpian cast blames that survive accountability, introspection and humility.

Sociological psychologists deem this blame game as attributions. In my continued pursuit to try and comprehend the Trump phenomena I am constantly observing this conspicuously persistent pattern of unwavering support for Trump which is primarily (if not entirely) based on blaming others for any perceived ill in our society. For example, alleged rising violent crime in our inner cities is ultimately the result of a culture of poverty and “some bad hombres”, while there is no mention that several factors such as aggressive discriminatory policing tactics, poor education, or a dearth of opportunities for socioeconomic community development are hardly considered. Another would be the loss of manufacturing jobs which has all to do with bad trade policies — globalization, but nothing to do with advances in technology, myopic corporate interests, and or global market expansion and efficiencies with conducting business.

It would not be difficult to conclude that the white working class (who apparently speak for every other working class citizen), or white nationalists in particular, resort to blaming anything and everything externally outside of their own social purview — such as foreign trade agreements, an influx of immigrants or other minorities — for their (constructed) falling place in the social hierarchy. Since the rest of us are hyphenated Americans there is this need to make America great again — somehow by the patriarchy of Trump who espouses America first motivations on their behalf.

Trump also contends that everything that has gone wrong outside of as well as within the United States is directly a result of President Obama’s time in office. It appears that the opinions themselves do not matter as much as the person who holds them, especially when that person is Donald Trump. And if that is not enough then the entitlement can go a lot further and extend psychologically to his winning 46% of support.

The emergent Trumpian movement is uncanny in a similar tone and presence to the Know Nothing Movement of the mid-1850s. To borrow from Karl Marx it appears “History repeats itself, first as a tragedy, second as a farce.”

⚠️Warning: double entendres ahead.

The latter movement’s moniker derives from their secretive politics and reluctance in making their activities public, to which when a member was asked about such activities the reply was “I know nothing”. 😲 Indeed, and more on this will avail itself as we move along. At different points and occasions it was called the Native American Party — 🤔, then the American Republic Party, and afterwards they just settled on the American Party for a group consisting primarily of whites of European descent. But we will use Know Nothings here because it is so apropos.

The Know Nothings very much like the Trump Movement ran on a platform of irrational emotions like anti-immigration. Where Trump and his nationalists would like to exile Mexicans, and Muslims, and any other undocumented brown individuals from the country, the Know Nothings decried the influx of Germans (due to civil unrest) and the Irish (potato famine), or the Catholics. They too, were seen in a similar vein of depressing wages (job stealing) and undermining the nation’s security (terrorist threat).

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credit: Smithsonian Magazine
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Credit: Public Radio International

The Know Nothings also wanted to repeal and replace certain naturalization laws for these immigrants by instituting provisos that state a 21-year waiting period before granting citizenship. They wanted to restrict voting (😦 voting rights Act called intrusive by AG Sessions)and political office to native-born Americans(😧 birthers). Again, sounds eerily familiar today.

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While this horde of foreign-born voters has thus stricken down a noble cause, which appealed to the moral sentiment and enlightened patriotism of our country, it only affords another confirmation of a fact which our whole history establishes, that the foreign vote, with hardly an exception, always has been and, in the nature of things, ever will and must be attracted to that party which, under high-sounding generalities on the abstract rights of man, always practically cooperates with slavery at the South, and banishes from its platform the moral questions and nobler instincts and more enlightened sentiments of the age. _ Governor Henry Gardner — Governor of Massachusetts in a Know Nothing sweeping victory in 1854.

The heavy price paid subscription to Trumpism and its inherent flaws and contradictions of elitism is contributing to widespread anxiety in the nation for everyone. I am careful not to presume that the nationalists in our country are uniformly monolithic. There is a substantial bunch within the Trump supporters who remain silent about the guilt and shame of being taken in by the authoritarian influence and the illusory prestige that disappointingly is unveiling. Their support was premised on a revisionist view of the constitution while the others simply wanted a cosmetic facelift to go along with a characteristic nationalist identity for the United States. The ideology and the temerity of the Trump administration is the promise to heed their cause and brashly upend the status quo or “politics as usual” in Washington, coupled with the “by any means necessary” discarding of the multicultural identity the country inherently possesses.

What has actually happened is that you simply gave the keys away to the ones that have been trying to break in and ransack the place.

The Trump White House threatens to redefine American culture and values by undermining the very same basic democratic principles that conjured this country into being. By advocating the call to ‘Make America Great Again’ Trump and his following in turn instigates an illusory and deluded version of America mired in chaos: a government swamped by widespread corruption; an economy steeped in job loss and urban impoverishment; a fractured union in political crisis prompted by far too liberal and enabling diversity with loose use of immigration policies. Opinions that Trump and his minions remain entitled to, and under false justifications of measurable evidence to the contrary. They falsely attribute these woes by othering and evidence this by emotively responding to the neuroticism of a slipping place in the social hierarchy.

The spectacle in all of this is our leader of what was the free but now arrested world. President Trump, the spectacular, in his first congressional speech to congress addressed his presidency as “A new chapter of American greatness is now beginning. A new national pride is sweeping across our nation”.

“The spectacle appears at once as society itself, as part of society and as a means of unification. As a part of society, it is that sector where all attention, all consciousness, converges. Being isolated — and precisely for that reason — this sector is the locus of illusion and false consciousness; the unity it imposes is merely the official language of generalized separation”__Guy Debord Theses 3

Historic Recurrence

That general separation exists in the never-ending war on Obama, Clinton, the Democratic party, immigrants and the popular vote. Apparently, despite all the success gained in the electoral college vote the apparent takeover or redux Know Nothings were not able to translate that success recently into legislation. Most of the policies they ran did not pass muster much like the twice struck down executive orders on banning Muslims and the failed repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act. This all within the first 75 days of Trump in office. However, the opportunity exists now more than ever for democrats, republicans and independents to seize on — by doing the right thing for everyone apolitically and in unity for nation building and equality sake.

The Know Nothing’s disdain for inquiries and embrace of falsehoods too were all so similar to the White House press briefings with their refusal and lack of candor to reveal what’s really going on. However, in this instance it may not have anything to do with being clandestine about their ulterior motives, but rather, this new brand of Know Nothings have no idea of what they are doing. Hence, a new redux of a Know Nothing movement whose know nothingness has besieged us with an unremarkable aspect of history repeating itself.

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It appears the more that I write the better I perceive.

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