Point of View Columns

Not with a Bang, Not with a Whimper, But with a Whine

Apocalyptic predictions are usually dismissed because of the inherent societal belief that things can never really get that bad – until they do. Predictions of the absolute collapse of civilization as it had been known prior to the actual Inquisition in Spain, or the Reign of Terror in France or the Holocaust in Germany or the arrival of Europeans in what is now North America had one thing in common – not enough people ever believed that things could get that bad – until it was too late.

It may be that this country has arrived at an inflection point where the combined currents of racism, bigotry, xenophobia and white supremacy have combined to actually transform these United States into a citadel where the advocates of these miseries and live and thrive and prosper. So it is important to understand that these times are different from any other time in American history.

There are two distinct events where the American story could have simply unraveled. During the Constitutional Convention of 1787 the inevitability of a United States of America was not apparent and walkout threats by various delegates were real. Hence the major compromises – including slavery – that were embedded into the Constitution.

Of course the Civil War, absent some tactical genius and blunders at Gettysburg, could very well have resulted in the permanent establishment of two nations. It should be noted, that the principal issue of slavery was cause for war. It could be argued that there were no fundamental differences with respect to government itself.

Today we are in a very different place. The (virtually all-white) Republican Party is clearly intent on codifying white minority rule in the United States. Through its Supreme Court majority, gerrymandering, control of state legislatures, voter suppression and 50 United States Senators (who represent 38% of the American population), the Republicans are hell-bent on actually disenfranchising the non-white segment of America.

This is not being done surreptitiously. This is not being done in the dead of night. It is happening live and in color for all the world to see. And what we all see is the very real possibility that the basic concept of democracy and full participation in government could simply expire like the passenger pigeon or the dodo bird. Indeed, American democracy could end up in a museum with very few visitors and limited visiting hours.

There are over forty states that are either enacting or contemplating draconian measures that will result in the nullification of nonwhite votes for at least a generation. The results of these measures will almost certainly result in the Republican control of the House and the Senate in 2022 with a clear pathway for the Restoration of Trump in 2024.

And if that seems like a nightmare scenario it is time to wake up and realize that nightmares can come true.

And it is time to abandon the belief that things can’t really get that bad.  They really are that bad and they are about to get worse.

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3 thoughts on “Not with a Bang, Not with a Whimper, But with a Whine

  1. Mary says:

    Wow. Very well said and very true. Those of us who have suffered on our own or by way of our ancestors, from the domination of the same minority who consistently work to destroy others and maintain a white supremacy know in our very being that everything that you said is true and unfortunately happens to be their way. It takes very little reasoning to convince them that it’s time to destroy other races and put them in their place. My question is, who are these people? Why are they so hateful? How long does God allow them to continue? Is there no way to stop them?

    • Merrye Schindler says:

      Too true and too terrifying! My immediate family on just my father’s side (great aunts uncles, cousins in Poland) totaled over 300 before the Nazi white supremacists rose to power. After WW11, my father spent a fortune on Jewish search agencies, but found only FOUR family members who had survived the concentration camps. The remaining 296 died after enslavement, starvation and torture in the camps. As a tiny girl, I recall that each time I entered a room, I immediately, automatically looked for a means of egress, be it window or door, so I could escape the imaginary murderous Nazis, although this was in the late 1950s and in Brooklyn. My father schooled me in their dumb as dirt mindsets, and promised me that they would put me against a wall and shoot me, before I could even try to explain that I was no longer Jewish, but rather, had converted to Buddhism in my heart and soul. I was the first baby born into my father’s family, so, I quickly learned “defensive food Yiddish,” to avoid the family members’ relentless efforts to follow me around with plates of food, compulsively trying to feed me, since either they or other family members had been starved to death in the camps.

      Now, the White Supremacists are back, dumb and murderous as ever. I realize that again, I have started to look for an escape window or door before I will enter a room.

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