How We Got Here, In A Few Paragraphs.
“If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.”
— Abraham Lincoln
By the 1980’s America was filled with millions of average folks, mostly white working class ones, who had watched their myths broken and sometimes their privilege and prejudices challenged; Reagan’s GOP offered them something: Morning in America. Indeed, in some quarters, greed would become a virtue and pursuit of self-aggrandizement honored.
But the GOP and its adherents — some former Democrats — wouldn’t know where to stop. An election could be stolen with Supreme Court help after a misconceived impeachment effort. A little payback for Nixon.
Then adventurism in the Middle East and muscles flexed that were too long dormant after (in) Vietnam. The old myths were being revived.
So after eight years of a Black president and frustrated and fruitless attempts to defame and derail him — including ignoring his prerogative to pick a Supreme Court nominee — they would drink the kool-aid of compleat myth — of palpable and demonstrable lies from a condominium salesman — who bragged and forecast. contempt for his predecessor and for the quiet tradition of decency in public leadership.
This was the salve for these years of disillusionment as the myths that sustained unmerited privilege disappeared. They could ignore the changes. They could ignore the past wrongs done.
They could, if necessary, ignore a kind of public decency. They could reclaim privilege and all they believed was lost.
And, they would do this even if it meant ignoring that they too were subject to the Constitution and the rule of law. After all, they had lost so much. It was only fair.
-Albert Turner Goins, Sr.