The Legacy of George Wallace
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Mon Jan 23, 2017 at 12:20:51 PM EST
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning fears, racial or otherwise.  And though many of those concerns once had been arrogantly or ignorantly dismissed as mere racial `code words,'  every president from Nixon to Clinton based his successful campaign on some key elements from the Wallace political cannon."  Author Stephen Lesher, George Wallace Biographer.
     When I first read Lesher's opinion about the influence of George Wallace on American politics I was a startled and thought the proposal was not factual.  The more I contemplated what he said, the more it made sense.  His claim that from Nixon to Clinton, key elements of their appeal came from Wallace concepts, can be added to by further elections that confirm the point.
     Lesher reminded us that Wallace's appeal became more than racial.  Later on, the author reminds us, Wallace was the only Southern Politician to apologize.  Wallace enjoyed White as Well as Black support in Alabama in his last campaign for governor.  He even wheeled himself down the isle of a Black Congregation to ask for their forgiveness.
     The appeal of Wallace was more than just race early on.  Lesher reminds us that hippies, professional and business people joined his ranks.  He almost won the Democratic nomination for President as we recall.  Wallace proposed that pointed- headed liberals were ruining his country.  The ultimate problem was these elites who ran the government and he was the ultimate outsider promising to give the government back to the people.  His appeal often was rooted in the idea he was an outsider fighting the powers that be inside the Beltway.
     As Donald Trump delivered his inaugural speech you can almost see the movement Wallace began that found fulfillment in a message Wallace might have written.  Wallace believed the good people of the nation were being denied access to power by an elite group of insiders.  Trump resounded, "For too long a small group in our nation's capital has reaped the rewards of government while people have borne the cost."  Trump reasoned that politicians prospered at the expense of the citizens.  Donald Trump promised, "The American carnage stops here and stops right now."  Trump stated that the wealth of the middle class was ripped from their homes.  A common theme from the Wallace camp that decent Southerners were being preyed upon by an elitist government.  The common man was not considered and was a mere pawn in the hands of the influential.  Trump promised, "You will never be ignored again."
     Sitting on the platform behind President Trump were a host of former Presidents.  Though not to the extent Trump did, many of them often played the same fiddle.  They proposed they were the outsiders demanding these elite let them into the reins of power.  Carter was the peanut farmer from Georgia.  He wore sweaters for his fireside chats with the public.  His replacement, Reagan, proposed that government was the problem.   His populace movement as an outsider played well with the public.  The Bush family, hardly outsiders, allowed the Lee Atwaters and Karl Bush peoples in their campaigns to push the right buttons to appeal to these sentiments. Clinton was the high school band member from small town Hope, Arkansas.  He came from a broken home.  It was a long way from Hope to Washington D.C.  Obama's "yes we can" was the call of a black outsider, promising to deliver the government to its neglected residents of the country.  It was interesting to see them sitting behind Trump while he stated he was wrestling the government away from them and handing it back to the people.  His major opponents were government people, namely crooked Hillary and lying Ted.  Ted was riding his horse into town claiming he was there to rescue the town from the horrible insiders who were in their way.  He was enraged when the horse he was riding was carjacked by trump and used to run over him.
     Obama Care is a powerful slogan.  I am not sure the government totally understood it.  But it is a symbol.  A symbol of a government that is ruining our lives.  Taking from us and rewarding Reagan's welfare queens.  It is a sign of a government gone astray and out of touch with its base to these mindsets.  
     I once attended a John Birch Society meeting.  The local head of the group had once been a Wallace Campaign volunteer heading up a state apparatus.  Most of the members at the meeting were also members of prominent Religious Right churches.  The connection between Birchers, Wallace and the Religious Right were evident by my contact.
     Wallace told his crowds, "The Supreme Court has made it against the law to read the Bible in public schools."  The fear that government was against the Christian faith was a common theme with Trump.  He promised to say "Merry Christmas."  He pledged to allow churches to directly engage in political electioneering and not endanger the tax exempt status of the church.  He will do his best to insure the 50lc3 tax code will be revised to allow campaigning by his endorsing ministers. Wallace had a Baptist minister by the name of George Mangum who would open his campaigns with an appeal for money. Some of Trumps supporting ministers were rewarded with sitting on the platform and praying at the inauguration.  Trump fulfilled his promise by not being afraid to use the terms "Islamic Terrorists."  An appeal, no doubt, to Hal Lindsey followers who believe that Obama was seeking to make America an Islamic state.      I note many facebook folks are stating we now have our government back.  To many the Christian nation theme is part of the celebration.  
     Trumps recommended Secretary of Education is a throw- back to Southern desires to get government money for private Christian Schools.  Schools, that during Wallace's campaign were an alternative to integrated public schools.  Privatizing of public education will be a new agenda in the government.  A throw- back to homeschool founder, R. J. Rushdoony, who believed the only government programs were to be the military and local sheriff.
     Rushdoony also taught the basic premise of the human species was rebellion.  Rebellion against authority.  I wondered to myself what these former Presidents thought about the proposal that our new President had wrestled the government from carnage and given it back to the people?  
     Wallace was an ex-Golden Gloves champion and political scrapper.  He allowed himself to be drawn into populist ideas that made him compromise his politics.  He ended his term appealing to all citizens in Alabama and built many bridges.  Both for traffic and politics.  Trump did promise to be President to all citizens reminding us we are all blood brothers.   Our hope lies is the belief that future Presidents will take the best from Wallace, and not his worst.



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Trump did promise to be President to all citizens reminding us we are all blood brothers. ------------------ Trump lies a lot. And note, he didn't say brothers and sisters. The man is not fit to be president. Period. And neither is Mike Pence, who will probably actually make the policy. It's going to be a very long 4 years.

Wallace? He was a demagogue, but not, probably, a narcissist. I saw him speak when he was running for president, and he sounded like Hitler. Lots of red meat for the white redneck crowd he addressed.

by phatkhat on Tue Jan 24, 2017 at 10:57:01 AM EST

It was just ensconced in the hatred and segregation and other nonsense that clutters the minds of so many whites now. That small, but hard core 35% can take over and run a country if given a chance. Sure take the good ideas not the person.

This country is at risk for falling into the abyss of Dominionist Empire as never before. "The Handmaid's Tale" may come about differently if we aren't careful. They have never had a better chance than now, all without breaking the law or murdering anyone. Of course they want a stable person like VP Mike Pence to be the lead on their project to create a Christian Dominionist Empire. With the external empire already in place.

We are in a very dangerous way today, we must take care we don't lose more than we will be already.

by Nightgaunt on Sun Jan 29, 2017 at 02:22:13 PM EST

were never spoken.

by phatkhat on Tue Jan 31, 2017 at 12:01:20 PM EST
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Trump is like the Religious Right.  Not taken seriously by intellectuals and vastly under estimated.    

by wilkyjr on Tue Jan 31, 2017 at 09:57:54 AM EST
If you mean people in academia, people are starting to take notice - some of my friends have expressed concern if not fear and they do see the big picture.  The problem is, the administration usually belittles their concerns and comes out with something on the order of "But it's a CHURCH, it can't be THAT BAD!"  A lot of their colleagues also don't want to admit that the problem (with Dominionist Christianity) is as bad as it really is - they think of fundamentalists as those "backwoods ignorant idiots" and refuse to hear how powerful and prevalent they really are.

Then too, academics are usually so busy that they barely can take time to even LISTEN to the news.  It's not an easy life (contrary to cherished stereotypes).  A lot of the people I know don't watch or listen to the news because they don't have the time.  (Working all day at school and then working at home until late at night is relatively common.)

We've talked about this issue here on T2A several times - the "Religion/Christianity/Fundamentalism is dying" bunch.  Trump win puts the lie to their ideology, but they STILL insist on wearing their blindfolds!

Another commonality is that the administration (college presidents, etc.) don't want to upset their apple cart, so they don't want anyone to make waves.  They're usually 1%ers, and a lot of those monsters think they can control Trump and the dominionists, or use them.

Then there is another problem with pundits and people in 'the media' - they refuse to look at the big picture and only see things through their narrow windows of ideology.  For instance, they'll look at Trump's behavior and be confused, because it goes against what they think about politics.  Or they'll insist it's all based on economics, and when he puts a monster in place who will actually cause harm (but strongly advance the dominionist cause), they try to dismiss it.  Or they'll insist that Christianity doesn't have an evil side and try to pooh-pooh any evidence disproving their belief.  They refuse and refuse and REFUSE to see the Dominionist Christianity (and it's violent and destructive goals) behind just about everything that he does.

Everything is going as I have feared - I suspected up front that the Dominionists were the reason why he won (they were almost rabidly pro-Trump and came millimeters from violating the anti-electioneering rules at the churches I pass on the way to school).  (I also have to admit that the Democrats helped them by forcing a "more of the same" candidate on us!)  Everything he does supports or advances their causes - from the destruction of the Federal government's limits on the rich and corporations, and the deliberate moves which turn people off to the US government, to the firing (with abusive language) of people who resisted him, to the promotion of the dominionist agenda.  I was put onto an article on Alternet about his advisor Bannon - something that didn't surprise me and confirmed something I suspected - that he's a dominionist too.  He was calling for Christian violence against the people they think are their enemies (instead of their neighbors and potential friends).  As we know, that form of Christianity is more than willing to commit violence against those who resist - even conservative Christians will attack (verbally) anyone who doesn't support them.  Down here they call it "Consequences for actions".  They also deny that their own have committed violence against innocents (they usually claim that the innocent "deserved what they got" because of "their sins" - if not that "God" was the one doing the violence)!

What I expect will happen, unless people (especially the Secret Service and the FBI) wakes up to the reality, is that a dominionist will assassinate Trump so that they can get Pence in office.  The assassin is likely to try to pass off as a Muslim to advance their hateful cause.  They don't like him because he doesn't resemble them that much... and because he opens his mouth too much (and exposes to the alert why their ideology is so evil).

I once had a scholar say to me "If any group could be the 'Church of the Anti-Christ', it would be the dominionists!".  The things we do know about the person they call "Jesus" suggests that much of what they take as given is just the opposite of what he stood for.  I think if he were alive today, he would be horrified by the things they insist "God" or "Jesus" taught or said - and would resist them even as he resisted the Roman Occupation (and was killed for it).


by ArchaeoBob on Tue Jan 31, 2017 at 12:42:30 PM EST
Parent

that I didn't consider is the Republicans impeaching Trump and putting Mike Pence in his place.  I didn't think of it because the Republicans from this area (and others) have been so vocal in their support and their seeming delight in his bigotry.  That scenario (based on an article I'd read) may be more likely than I'd thought.

That would transfer power into the hands of a militant dominionist without them getting blood on their hands (although they're not that squeamish about blood, as long as they have the appearance of "holiness" and "Godliness") - and we'd be pretty much powerless to stop it.  The bad thing about that scenario is that a lot of people will be so relieved that Trump is gone, that they wouldn't pay that much attention to Pence.  (IMO, he might even be more dangerous because what little I've heard of him suggests he's smarter than Trump.)

Our best hope is that they over-reach severely enough that the public wakes up.


by ArchaeoBob on Wed Feb 01, 2017 at 04:32:48 PM EST
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