one thing could be finer…if you vote in carolina

The world again watches events in South Carolina. All eyes are riveted on whether the Trump tsunami will dissipate on Carolinian shores or gain momentum as it surges west. For now, the polls say that the smart money is on the tsunami.

We are watching “again” not because of past primary battles, but recent cultural ones. It is hard to believe that it is already over six months since South Carolina gave into public ridicule and removed the Confederate Battle Flag from their state capitol. Many breathed a sigh of relief: finally, the culture of racism is starting to visibly die. Maybe.

It is putting up a ferocious fight.flag_retirement

The word “racism” gets thrown around a little bit too much, so I hesitate to use it to classify all Trump and Cruz supporters. But after that hesitation, I remember the flag imbroglio and quickly lose my trepidation. Some days a Curmudgeon just has to call it what it is.

Today I just can’t get Strange Fruit to quit playing in my head.

I acknowledge that a bare majority of voters are not old enough to have known people who experienced the race riots and unrepentant lynch mobs. While old school racism is as real as it is ugly, the better descriptor for most of them is xenophobic. I suppose too that there is often a fine line between racism and primal survival instincts: the fear that someone is going to steal your coconuts, or worse, is deeply embedded in our DNA.

Xenophobia, like its more evil sounding twin, is an old school tradition too. The political exploitation of the fear of the other is as American as baseball. Native savages, slave insurgents, Irish immigrants, and Japanese saboteurs are but a few of the historic tools of fear. Trump and Cruz are merely playing out of a very old playbook.

An old and disgusting playbook.

Call me crazy, but it would be amazing if South Carolina Republicans rebuked the old playbook. I know the racists and xenophobes are in the minority. It must be true. Perhaps the time has come for enlightened Republicans to leverage their disgust and send these two vestiges of reconstruction packing.

Recently on the David Axelrod podcast, former Mitt Romney political strategist Stuart Stevens called Trump a “zeppelin” adding,

This large slow-moving hydrogen-filled thing just waiting for people to start poking. And he is incredibly thin-skinned.

Only in my fantasy could I be the one who poked holes in the bloviating billionaire hot airship. You will not find my name in Who’s Who, but rather Who’s He? Fortunately, voters do have the power—if they will use it.

And if you are reading along South Carolina Republicans, when you exit, tell the pollsters of your anti-racist vote. Tell them that South Carolina is busy with the business of exterminating the culture of racism. Tell America this is about more than an old flag retired to a museum.

If the tsunami continues to gather its cowering minions, I fear that Millennials will remember my generation as old museum pieces who just wouldn’t die quickly enough. And they would be justified: racism should have relegated to history by our hand.

And truthfully, we are just about out of time.

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36 thoughts on “one thing could be finer…if you vote in carolina”

  1. “You are straining to find a deeper meaning for this campaign that isn’t there OF.”

    hahaha…you got me there. A guy can hope. The part that is correct is this time the GOP blue collar vote is beating the GOP white collar vote. That did not happen with McCain and Romney… the have-nots are taking over the party. I believe it’s a historical fact that all civilizations end in redistribution of wealth, either voluntarily or the more painful method. I guess it’s not the “still voting” have-nots that the haves need to worry about… it’s the have-nots that have quit voting. The most dangerous are the ex-haves.

    fyi: (Republican voters who support temporary Muslim ban)

    CNN Poll

    NH – 65%
    SC – 74%

    Will president Trump actually attempt that ban?

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    1. My hunch is that the Muslim ban is pure bombast. I don’t think it would be attempted.

      That said, I’m not positive of that. One of the potential posts I have rambling around in my head is on the topic of the inevitable ineffectiveness of “outsider” presidents. I think we have three candidates-Trump, Cruz, and Sanders-that if elected would have no real ability to lead and get anything done in Congress. As I said before…think Carter Administration.

      The Muslim ban would be the PERFECT platform for resisting the bombast. Even if attempted, it would never happen. Also keep in mind your poll was Republican voters. I’m going to guess that would be low teens for Democratic voters and probably even less for independents and 3rd party voters.

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      1. What part of “Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are still there” do you not get? Nothing will happen if the Dems win…and nothing “good” will happen if GOP wins. A tiny tiny part of me wants to call the GOP bluff … and watch them kill Obamacare with Trump. That just might be the last time the GOP wins the presidency in this century.

        “His men all followed him into battle, but only out of curiosity”

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  2. I think Kim Kardashian’s fund raising ability would be amazing. She could post a new patriotic butt pic and charge people $1 per view. Bernie supporters could not keep up with that.

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      1. Personally, I think Kim Kardashian butt imagery makes your blog more palatable. I guess I am at little risk of being voted off this disturbed island.

        I might be away for a while…I need research some pics…I mean election stats.

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  3. “I’m really interested to see if Curmudgeon moves the SC vote.”

    Nope.

    Trump!

    Jeb! NOT

    Prof, you said Trump was one of mine, but it turns out Trump got the majority of the SC evangelical vote. He is one of yours…I hold you responsible for dealing with him. 🙂

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      1. Question: Is this the election that ended the chances of any one-trick candidate only selling tax-cut-trickle-down?

        Obvioulsy the GOP looked the other way with the birtherism for political advantage, and they are paying the price … that price is named Trump. That opened the door for Trump, but I think something else is going on. A majority of his vote seems to be blue collar workers who have lost jobs for decades. Those business owners (pyramid owners) not only didn’t lose their jobs, but their wealth typically vastly increases. They hear the golden oldies of tax cuts and limited government and freedom again in this election. Then they hear this other guy tell them “these guys in DC have been screwing you for years, they don’t know what they are doing, yada yada yada.

        Obviously Trump has no more idea on what to do than any other politician, and he is not the first to rail against trade policy (Buchanan, Perot). What is different is it’s working this time. Maybe it’s just celebrity … but maybe a politician can’t win anymore with “I will cut your taxes”. Won’t that be a bitch if future candidates have to tell us “how we create jobs” without saying “taxes” or “regulation”. Easiest job on the planet has been a GOP candidate… “cut your taxes…government bad.. more freedom… elect me”.

        Maybe faith-based economics is dead….making your business owner rich ain’t going to do jack for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think the phrase “trickle down” is certainly dead. As is “supply side economics”. But the politics of cutting taxes will always be there. Its wired into democracy IMO. You are straining to find a deeper meaning for this campaign that isn’t there OF.

        Trump is the logical progression from where we have been in American politics. We have been on a road of steadily beating content out of our political language. While the reality TV star as front runner seems shocking to some, I’m surprised it took this long.

        Look for Kim Kardashian to tear them up in 2020,

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    1. Old friend: “Won’t that be a bitch if future candidates have to tell us “how we create jobs” without saying “taxes” or “regulation”.”

      Particular since any other method would be erroneous.

      Governments do not “create jobs”. Governments may lure people from the private sector employ them at the expense of lost production, but that is not helpful, The only wealth of any nation is the production of the private sector. Any persons not producing – either unemployed, underemployed, or employed by the government – reduces the production of an economy.

      Those who pimp command economies misunderstand the nature of employment. Without going into a 1,000 page explanation to clarify that misunderstanding, let us just say that government’s part in employment is the modification of incentives and the narrowing of options. As regulation or taxation increase, those actions alter incentives and shift priorities. We see that with sin taxes that are meant to provide disincentive to do those actions. We also see that in regulatory costs in America being such that the cost of overseas production becomes more attractive. In labor industries like programming, service, and call centers, it’s all about wage rates. In manufacturing, it’s all about EPA, OSHA, and other regulatory burdens being avoided.

      The way to “create jobs” is for government to get out of the way of private industry and remove burdens that have reduced incentives to employ, caused to automate, and/or transfer overseas. Reducing a private company’s wealth (taxation), options (regulation), or creating an artificial or distorted demand (subsidies, credits, preferences, etc.) creates an unnatural, non-optimal operating environment.

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      1. Yeah. Government should get out of the way and remove obstacles like the Interstate Highways, Courts, Police protection…all that worthless stuff. #sarcasm #realitycheck

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      2. Ms.Deal “Government should get out of the way and remove obstacles like the Interstate Highways, Courts, Police protection…all that worthless stuff.”

        Those seem to be the “go to” examples of why government should expand unhampered in the multitude of areas unrelated to those. You forgot to mention schools and cat-in-a-tree-rescuing firemen as well. BTW, all of those items mentioned appear to be predominantly provided for by local governments. Of course, the focus of my rant was the federal government, as evidenced by the prior mentions of Trump and my mention of OSHA, EPA, and regulations that push businesses outside of the US, not just outside of a city, county, or state.

        Is there any part of my actual statements/argument that you would like to refute and evidence as best you can? I much more appreciate substantive, intellectual, and forthright arguments (not quarreling, but arguing positions, debate, etc.). If not, no problem.

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      3. Prof…thought you had left us right before Kardashian butt imagery. As you know from previous jousting, my textbook knowledge of economics is a bit lean. In my defense, I had one economics class my freshman year in college, and my future girlfriend sat next to me that first day of class. I spent a lot of time on a private sector, but learned very little about economics that year.

        I will let Real Deal duel with you a while. Looks like all our old duels didn’t all migrate over, or we could cut and paste. We were like that commercial where the husband tells his wife “he had finished everything on the internet”.

        Will duel again… “but I’m not dead YET”

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      4. “The way to “create jobs” is for government to get out of the way of private industry”

        You are posting on a government creation. I bet Zuckerberg is a fan of the government getting in the way.

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      5. hartmancpa,
        I indicated I was being sarcastic which should tip a reader off that I was being clever and letting the reader make inferences. Mostly, I was responding to what seemed like a general criticism of government. I was pointing out that there are many things I want the government to do and using the most obvious examples. I disagree that the government can not create jobs. What is the military if not job creation? That’s not its goal, but it does create jobs. I think what you mean is that he government does not create jobs as efficiently as the private sector. I am referring to business there, not old friend’s college private sector analysis.

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  4. My apologies for running off RealDeal. I have that effect on blogs. And at parties, regardless of what everybody was talking about before I enter a room, in 10 minutes or less we seem to always be talking about the tanking economy. What gives?
    🙂

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    1. I thought I ran off SemiRealDeal. I solve social interaction issues by just watching HBO 24 x 7. I will respond to a Curm email, but I prefer HBO.

      I am reminded I enjoyed your banana peels and qualifiers before. Here is the thing… one should lead with the Monty Python. None of us really have a clue and the internet is cheaper than therapy. Somebody will figure all this out, but it isn’t going to be this round of old people.

      btw… this is outside my lane, but Pope slamming probably should be reserved for orange haired narcissist. Trump played it wrong. He should have made one of those so-called famous deals. Less Wall talk if the Pope would pray for that orange thing on his head.

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    2. Oh, I’m still here. I’ve enjoyed reading, but I don’t have your kind of time to reply.

      The Pope slamming was a bit scary I admit. Curm may be headed some place hot.

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      1. “The Pope slamming was a bit scary I admit. Curm may be headed some place hot.”

        No kidding…I took a step back…and I’m agnostic.

        New Poll:

        Pope 95%
        Trump 5%
        Curm n/a (not available)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. LOL. You people are funny. I really enjoyed this post. I had not thought about the South Carolina primary connection. Curmudgeon came on a bit strong I think but hartmancpa called him out on that. I don’t have much to add I’m afraid. I’m really interested to see if Curmudgeon moves the SC vote.

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  5. I tried to summon up my white guilt, but there was none to be had. Try as I might, I couldn’t recall the last time I had owned slaves, strung up some “strange fruit”, or used the “n” word. I do prefer my white wife over any black woman. But I also prefer her over any other Asian, Native, Hispanic, or any other white woman as well. I guess I am exhibit A.

    After 7.0767 years of being told that if I opposed socialism, statism, and the Democratic platform as dictated from a half white president, it was impossible to oppose those political, economic, and social positions on merits other than racism.

    Under the list of red herring fallacies, in the subcategory of ad hominem, is the fallacy of poisoning the well – a type of ad hominem where adverse information about a target is presented with the intention of discrediting everything that the target person says. If I may be able to generalize, though far less so than calling ALL Trump & Cruz followers as racist, it is difficult for me to recall an Obama speech, formal or informal, where he did not “poison the well”.

    Thus, this messiah-darling of the Left that was the promise of unity (I can only assume his followers never actually listened to him) has racially charged ever aspect of every bill, event, party, and thought that exists in his world. Although much of Obama’s world has been scrubbed or sealed, Michele Obama’s doctoral thesis escaped careful scrutiny and is now forever a part of internetdom. I have read it. Well, at least until the dry heaves shut down comprehension. To say that she was obsessed with race is putting it mildly.

    There is profit in victimology. And this is not a new concept. Socialist are constantly telling workers – and have for centuries – that their poverty or condition is because of their employers, or the rich, the one-percenters, the haves vs the have nots. Booker T. Washington said in the late 1800’s, “There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances because they do not want to lose their jobs. There is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well.” Cue any memory and Sharpton or Jackson.

    It would be wonderful to discuss and come into unity about addressing racism as a nation, as a culture, as a society, and as individually in our own lives. But much is stirred up and manufactured out of thin air for political purposes and that dilutes true racism. And then those of opposing political, economic, and social positions must refute the false and incendiary racial rabble-rousing, leaving little time to address whatever real racism may actually exist.

    Whether Curmudgeon is trolling for brownie points – no pun intended – or just loves to throw matches on raw gasoline in a crowded parking lot, that is for him to say, but a piece that offers up that ALL of Trump and Cruz followers are racist, and maybe to a lesser extent, the South, South Carolina, and white America to whatever degree, creates a hostile environment to even discuss race. I feel like if I am writing to oppose statements or views that I feel are erroneous in some fashion, that somehow I am defending racism. Nothing could be further from the truth. No one party owns the only anti-racist perspective or point of view.

    A unilateral apology for being white and European has so obviously and continuously been offered that black professor and economist Walter E Williams years ago offered a Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon granted to All Persons of European Descent so that we may stop having to apologize for things we never did.

    But there is profit and control in bestowing guilt on our fellow man. And so it will always continue.

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    1. Fair point on the use of “all”, but then you turned around and basically did the same thing with all Obama speeches, policies, etc. We are watching the same movie but not seeing the same thing. Maybe I am missing the 3D glasses, because I seldom see Obama interject race into anything, from his campaign clear through his 7.0767 years. It appears Obama is guilty of “stealing the country”, but I don’t know where he hid it.

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      1. old friend: “but then you turned around and basically did the same thing with all Obama speeches, policies, etc.”

        Not really. I had multiple qualifiers. I said: it is difficult for me to recall an Obama speech, formal or informal, where he did not “poison the well”.

        “Difficult”, but not impossible. “Me”, not anyone else. “Recall”, an imperfect mechanism of memory dulled by current events and the preponderance of evidence accumulated of Obama doing precisely what I said he did.

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    2. That is a fair criticism, Prof, of my use of the word “all”. Perhaps I over-react a bit to the people I know who support Trump and Cruz and they are at least xenophobic. I really do think xenophobia is the better classification because as you pointed out, calling it racism is throwing a match on gasoline.

      Guess I wasn’t articulate enough in making that point.

      More importantly, I disagree that I was summoning up historic white guilt. I was talking completely about the contemporary kind. And I do think that the anti-immigrant mantras that folks are lapping up are attitudes that people should feel guilty about. As I have said in the past, what makes us strong is our cultural mash-up that is thus far a unique experience in the world, though that too is changing.

      I’m sure this topic is not going away…we will be hearing about immigration all year.

      Oddly, I actually support some version of “the wall” however misguided the attitudes of the people who support it may be. Just seems fundamental that we should have controlled borders independent of any specific immigration policy. I’ll be writing more on this later no doubt.

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      1. The media has been using the word “nativism”:

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nativism

        Regardless, I do not accept the position that we can treat 11 million undocumented immigrants any way we want under the banner of “the rule of law”. I think Trump disqualified himself the instant he said on TV that all 11 million would be “rounded up”. “STUPID” trumps 🙂 any need to debate racism, etc. We will never round up 11 million people and the desire to is void of conscience and human compassion. Trump knows we will never round up these fellow human beings even if his voters do not…clamoring for the new Trump reality tv show dragging families from their house.

        You’re Deported.

        I think “white guilt” is a red herring. Our obligation in our current lives isn’t guilt for our ancestors (dripping irony here accepting forbidden fruit guilt but not slavery guilt). Our obligation is to acknowledge legacy unfairness and disadvantage that continues today, and work (vote) against it. That to me is the gist of Curm’ s post…good people can not be silent. If one wanted to claim racism is over, that idea was quickly destroyed when Obama was elected. I had no idea we still had this big a problem…which was the luxury of a guilt free white life. When I see the way people talk about this president, in the open with no shame, I think I must be getting a glimpse of DNA from our uglier past. Sure…that is just because they don’t like his policies…sure

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve got a lot of problems with the Pope’s remarks. Prof makes an excellent point. But I think it is pretty sad having the leader of the Catholic Church declare him “not Christian”. He needs to read his Bible more apparently because such judgment is disgusting. We will see what happens I suppose…battle of the bloviators.

        Yes, I called the Pope a bloviator. My apologies to my Catholic friends, but that is clearly not ex cathedra.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I do remember… I remember trying to convince Prof we should act like good hosts, rather than worry so much about “how they are following the rules in our home”.

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  6. Good post. The other day I was listening to Trump and listening to his pitch I had heard many times… “Make America Great Again”. It was making me think of something… but I couldn’t figure it out. Then it hit me… his pitch really sounded like “Make America White Again”. After a bit of Googling… it was apparent many thought the same thing listening to him. It’s one thing to be mad at the GOP party (most of us are, except for different reasons)… it’s quite another to allow this guy to be your protest vote. One of his favorite lines is trashing Bush for saying “they come here out of love”. Bush is exactly right, although I’ve never seen anyone have so much trouble communicating the thought. Desperate fathers cross the border to send money back to their families. They live in realities where they really don’t have much time for debating politics, laws, blogs… kind of focused on the eating thing. Bush is EXACTLY right… that father is performing a bigger act of love than 99% of all the immigrant bashers will ever face. Life is hard for everyone… really seems out of place to slam people doing low end jobs to feed their family. 90% of our anti-immigrant (illegal) protestors would do exactly the same thing for their family put in the same situation. That is where Cruz sounds so bad… the concept of rounding up 11 million and sending them back is only a question of “possibility and law”… no conscience expressed at all about the “compassion or morality of it”. I am no Rubio fan, but I can say his attempt at a comprehensive fix represents a humanity that his voting base does not seem to share.

    Disclaimer: I am also interested in those “undocumented Democrats”. 🙂

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