I can’t understand why but it looks as if the Republican Party could win control of the Senate in November – and keep the House. That would put an end to President Obama’s ambitious program. And it would mark the beginning of an all-out war by the federal government against such “aberrations” as non-procreational sex and racial integration.
I know, it sounds crazy. This is 2014 after all, not the eighteen hundreds.
But this is America, and it seems that a lot of Americans, especially in rural areas, hunger for a return to the “good old days.” when marriage was the only rightful place for sexual intimacy, and the missionary position was the only respectable way to do it. In this mythical “golden age,” men married women and women married men – end of story. God was the only one who decided if and when a woman had children (the God of Abraham, of course, not some heathen deity). And black folk knew their place.
In those days, a (white) man’s home was his castle, and the lady of the house deferred to his desires.
Indeed, in this surreal universe, the white male was the one who was made in God’s image (the white woman was made from the man’s rib) and it was the white male who was given dominion over all other creatures, including white females and non-white people of both genders.
This Godlike creature had sinned – not him personally but his original ancestor – by disobeying the Almighty, and was obliged ever after to eat bread by the sweat of his brow. It was up to him to share that bread with whomever he pleased, not up to any secular authority to take part of it from him and give it to some lay-about.
I know, you think I’ve gone stark, raving mad. But consider the policies being promoted – and implemented – by Republican legislatures across America. A blizzard of anti-abortion laws, for example – and proposals to curb birth control… Voter suppression laws targeting ethnic minorities… Stand-your-ground legislation that legitimizes the murder of young, black males, who are presumed to be threatening by their mere existence… “Religious freedom” bills that would give anyone the right to discriminate against anyone else on any grounds because of any religious belief…
Consider the debates going on in the Republican Party. I read this morning that some Republican strategists are suggesting the party abandon attempts to appeal to non-whites and openly face voters as white America’s political voice. I have also read arguments by Republicans against requiring hospitals to treat indigents. And there are some who now say the government has no obligation – and no right – to try and help the poor.
You might think this is the path to political suicide, considering the changing face of America. But not so fast. Some 65 percent of the American electorate is still “Caucasian.” And most American families, although not wealthy, live above the poverty level. I can’t imagine the majority of these people embracing the new Republican philosophy, but what if they do that? What if even some of them do – enough to swing the vote in November?
What if the Republicans convince enough of the mainly white, mainly self-sufficient American elecorate that Obamacare takes from white retirees and gives to non-white children? What if the swarm of lies generated by the right-wing propaganda machine hit home? What if deep-pocketed crusaders like the Koch Brothers overwhelm Democratic candidates with attack ads?
It is a prospect too frightening to contemplate. But contemplate it we must if we hope to avoid it.