The Weekend Politics Decries a Scrying

♫ Right before the aftermath
I saw where it would end
You said it was an accident
I guess that all depends
On who you talk to
And who you know
And where you come from
And where, where you go ♫
Looking back1 reveals a picture of the future.

Five years ago to very day before which this particular Weekend Politics Thread header posted, a concatenation of caustic Caucasians convened in Charlottesville, Virginia, causing carnage. Conspiratorial concupiscence for Confederate tchotchkes coordinated the clownish but calamitous carnival.2

Uvular predicted something very like. As did former and persisting Politcados. Smart like a Fox News, the lot.

Put a pin in that and time-jump to 2022. The SPLC3 compiled this handy-slash-deflating composite of current whereabouts for the major movers of that fatal Unite the Right Rally. Too few jailed. Too many still spreading hate and dissention. A handful thriving in the sewer that has somehow become the main stream.4

Most of the neo-Nazis, unreconstructed Southern traitors, and Christian theocrats on the ground and behind the scenes of the killing clash of cultures continue kicking up consternation. As Uvular and his tolerators foretold.

Before seeing a substantiation of that surmise, ponder additional points of present-day perversity across the panoply of U.S. politics.

Arizona’s Republican governor, whose surname invokes a rather messy bowel movement, did a shitty thing in illegally ordering the building of physical barriers along his border with Mexico. A de jure de facto total ban on abortion went into effect in Idaho. A certain former president of the entire country fell under near-indictment for violating the Espionage Act.5

On their surface, these topical stories read as distinct developments due to disparate details unique to locales and prime players. Stepping back to take a thousand-inch view,6 however, brings a throughline into focus—a throughline that traces back to Charlottesville in 2017, Cleveland in 2016,7 Chancellorsville in 1863, and Cordoba in 1492.8

Jews and immigrants and Muslims will not replace “us/U.S.” Increase the “domestic” supply of babies. Laws exist to protect a select few and oppress everyone else.

In the United States, these attitudes curdle into the kakistocracy of governance by white supremacists. Other countries suffer their own degradations of nationalism, racism, misogyny, and religious zealotry. This happens because the worst sorts in every society dream of a future that looks just like a past that never existed. Experts on the rise and reign of fascist movements write often of false nostalgia becoming something akin to a religious fervor. In doing so, they echo Umberto Eco, who posited “the cult of tradition” as the first defining characteristic of fascism.

That cult so infects populaces living through or teetering on the edge of revanchism that news outlets around the globe ran with an expose titled “From Street Signs to Recycling Bin Decals, Renaming Army Bases That Honor Confederates Would Cost $21M.” Mother—and Uvular cannot stress this enough—fucker.

This bit of Klansman fan service9 perfectly exemplifies the refusal to come to grips with the fact that racism imposes unwelcome monetary costs. Or the fact that naming Fort Hood and Fort Bragg after truly terrible junior CSA officers had no purpose other than to prove to nonwhites that the South had not only risen again, but never lain down at all. Or that in a FY2022 U.S. military budget approaching $800 billion, $21 million barely registers as a rounding error. Or that the money already exists in base budget under the maintenance and upkeep line item. Or, and the really important part, that riling up the bigots perpetuates bigotry.

Must every halting step forward trigger a strong push backward? Yes, obviously, as shown by the out, loud, and proud racist Trump succeeding President Barack Obama.

Which Uvular and you, dear Politicados, foresaw in summer of 2016. How many WPT headers of half a decade gone decried the undisguised rightwing projects of dismantling democracy, making the First Amendment meaningless except for forcing nonbelievers to live according the most outré and exclusionary interpretations of Christian dogma, and reimposing Jim Crow? All of them.

Charlottesville culminated centuries of calumny. That spirit lamentably lives on. Do what you10 can and must to kill the philosophy of hate while rehabilitating the haters. Commence by commenting below.