Topics: Civil Rights, Diversity, Existentialism, History, Human Rights

Republicans: Founded in 1854 by anti-slavery expansion activists and modernizers, the Republican Party quickly surpassed the Whig Party as the principal opposition to the Democratic Party. In 1860, it came to power with the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency. The party presided over the American Civil War and Reconstruction and was harried by internal factions and scandals toward the end of the 19th century. Today, the party supports a conservative platform (from an American political perspective), with further foundations in supply-side fiscal policies, and social conservatism. Merriam-Webster

Fascism: The term Fascism was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in Italy (1922–43); the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also Fascist. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Oxford dictionary

Friday, the campaign manager flipped to help Special Prosecutor Mueller, and himself as the cost of defense was becoming prohibitive, and at 69, spending the "rest of his life" in prison will likely be a short duration.

Also Friday at the end of a week of the Woodward book and an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times, an anonymous woman's incident with the Supreme Court nominee was proffered by Senator Feinstein (D-California). The alleged victim's name was hidden at her request. Senator Grassley was determined to plow ahead with a nomination in committee on the 20th. The charges by an anonymous person was "baseless" unless she came forward.

So, his accuser, came forward. In her own words "Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation." We will see if Chairman Grassley will follow "the rule of law," give her a hearing before the senate committee vote. Senators Collins and Murkowski will have pressure on them if Kavenaugh goes before the full senate.

The Republican Party prior to the fall of Richard M. Nixon had made a Faustian compromise between my kindergarten and first grade year. They turned from their foundation in Civil Rights and prosecuting the Civil War for political expediency by pulling in the disaffected "Dixiecrats" disillusioned by the tilt that started with Harry Truman in the '48 Democratic convention towards expanding equal opportunity towards African Americans. The 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights and 1968 Fair Housing Acts were more than many could bear. They were wooed, then migrated en masse to the siren song of the "Southern Strategy" and Nixon's "law and order" platform (read: reestablishment of white supremacy). This would be slightly camouflaged by coded language, as Lee Atwater opined:

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.” Rick Perlstein, Exclusive: Lee Atwater's Infamous 1981 Interview on the Southern Strategy, The Nation

The Republican Party of Ronald Reagan I did not agree with in my youth, but I did admire aspects of it as a lot of people did. If you read novels as I did and still do, Tom Clancy and "The Hunt for Red October" or Robert Ludlum's "Bourne Trilogy" held your rapt attention. That was back when you talked about novels at work near water coolers. That was post the Vietnam era, when the country spat on vets as "baby killers." In the wake of the Iranian hostage crisis, we wanted desperately to seem "tough" and in control. We recreated a new mythology for ourselves, and catharsis with characters like Sylvester Stallone bouncing between "Rocky" and "Rambo"; we all loved Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry."and through a brash machismo, we tried to rescue our bruised national self-image in a tough-talking, B-movie actor, who's "awe shucks shrug" persona masked an agenda infused with the Janus religions of Ayn Rand worship and libertarianism. This was also prior to the "Me Too" movement and acknowledging the lingering toxicity of misogyny. AIDS was becoming a health crisis in the LGBT community that Mr. Shucks would ignore as the bodies represented by memorial quilts piled up, and pop culture along with Hollywood had a keen focus on nostalgia.

Abstract
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Hollywood studios churned out film after film that sought to recapture, revise, and re-imagine the fifties, as evidenced by films like American Graffiti (1973), Grease (1977), The Outsiders (1983), Reckless (1983), Footloose (1984), Back to the Future (1985), Blue Velvet (1986), Stand By Me (1986), and Hairspray (1988). Academic and popular critics alike have noted the peculiar fascination Hollywood had for the fifties, comparing the politics of its fifties nostalgia to the rise of the neoconservative movement that took Ronald Reagan as its avatar.

However, it is important to recognize that representations of the fifties in Reagan Era films and popular culture were far from homogeneous. Rather than a concept with discrete political or social import, "the fifties" functioned in the Reagan Era as a set of unstable signifiers, the meanings of which were the subject of intense negotiation and struggle.

Dwyer, Michael D., "Back to the fifties: Pop nostalgia in the Reagan Era" (2010). English - Dissertations. 54. https://surface.syr.edu/eng_etd/54

*****

This country has been surprised by the way the world looks now

They don't know if they want to be Matt Dillon or Bob Dylan

They don't know if they want to be diplomats ...

Or continue the same policy of nuclear nightmare diplomacy

John Foster Dulles ain't nothing but the name of an airport now

The idea concerns the fact that this country wants nostalgia

They want to go back as far as they can ...

Even if it's only as far as last week

Not to face now or tomorrow, but to face backwards

And yesterday was the day of our cinema heroes

Riding to the rescue at the last possible moment

The day of the man in the white hat or the man on the white horse ...

Or, the man who always came to save America at the last moment

Someone always came to save America at the last moment

Especially in "B" movies

B-Movie, Gil Scott Heron

This is a party, before its current avatar, that has always looked back longingly to the 1950s: when industry wasn't so global and a white male with a high school education (or less) could purchase a house and support a family. This of course was a time of segregated schools, transportation and neighborhoods by law prior to the nascent efficacy of the Civil Rights movement; an era of closeted LGBT people, who's existence I can only imagine was like constantly living in a suffocating envelope or cocoon; there weren't many Hispanic/Latino with exception of pockets in California and Texas, usually in agriculture and women - white women - were in the kitchen at home. Black women were too - mostly, but not completely as the servants of white women.

And now, they see a chance at a stolen Supreme Court seat to take us all back to those (not-so) Happy Days, a sexual assaulter appointed by a sexual assaulter to sit next to a sexual harasser to decide the future of women and their bodies, as well as people of color and LGBT and their Civil Rights. The desperation for those (not-so) Happy Days will have them lie, cheat, steal (2016 and past questionable late 20th century elections) and possibly collude with a foreign power to maintain Christian Supremacy sans White Supremacy that has had remarkable staying power.

Their "great again" has since the existential threatening presence of President Obama been quite literally by "any means necessary" (Malcolm X). We just didn't fathom how much power meant to them.

So, when do we stop calling them "republicans"?

Republicans: Founded in 1854 by anti-slavery expansion activists and modernizers, the Republican Party quickly surpassed the Whig Party as the principal opposition to the Democratic Party. In 1860, it came to power with the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency. The party presided over the American Civil War and Reconstruction and was harried by internal factions and scandals toward the end of the 19th century. Today, the party supports a conservative platform (from an American political perspective), with further foundations in supply-side fiscal policies, and social conservatism. Merriam-Webster

Fascism: The term Fascism was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in Italy (1922–43); the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also Fascist. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Oxford dictionary

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