29 July 2022 ~ 0 Comentarios

The New Republicanism and “Affective Polarization”

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

Is the Republican Party headed toward insignificance? The Economist magazine underlines the non-reformist character of a significant percentage of current Republicans and concludes that it is very dangerous. The article was sent to me by Santiago Morales, who was very worried. Santiago was sent by the CIA to Cuba at 18 years old and spent 18 years in jail. I dedicate the final paragraph of this article to describe the magazine.

While the Democrats knew how to abandon racism, after electing an African-American president, the Republicans are trapped in “affective polarization,” as The Economist says. In fact, they hate the “Liberal Democrats” for “betraying” the cultural traits and “identity” of true Americans.

What are those “cultural traits” that characterize the identity of true Americans?

They are in fact a hodgepodge of beliefs and attitudes that are observed in old mentalities foreign to modern times: first, a fierce nationalism like the one seen in the rise of Nazi-fascism. (Not surprisingly, the resurgence of nationalism is accompanied by a certain anti-Semitism associated with the name of George Soros.)

Second, an also atrocious distrust of anyone who exhibits a skin tone with a greater intensity of melanin, and genes that cause their hair to be curly and, almost always, prevent their eyes to be light-colored. Blue and green eyes are preferred in different studies of perceptions. A priori, they consider “more honorable” those with blue or green eyes. (It is amazing that there are Hispanics that support Trumpism.)

Third, an old trend of protectionism and isolationism banished from the slow path of development has been incredibly revitalized. Since 1776, since the publication of The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith gained followers and he made it very clear that success depended on the “invisible hand,” specialization, the size of the markets and the absence of wars. Then it was added the reduced public spending in relation to GDP, and small and less interventionist states, in which individuals from civil society were the protagonists.

Being involved in the new Republicanism implies admitting several conspiracies, among them, that Trump won the 2020 elections, and the Liberal Democrats magically managed to steal the votes. Also, that January 6, 2021 was a spontaneous insurrection in which Donald Trump did not play a major role.

The last truly racist president the Democrats had was Woodrow Wilson (#28). He liked to tell jokes against blacks (darky jokes,) and he had a very peculiar way of exercising “progressivism,” mixing it with the strict racial segregation that was part of the superstitions of the time. Back then, it was said that it was possible to create schools and restrooms for blacks essentially equal as those for whites.

When Wilson was offered the premiere in the White House of a film (Birth of a Nation) that praised the KKK, he welcomed it, contributing to the box-office success of a film that, aside of the ideological debate, has been credited with a large part of the cinematographic language and “modern” montages.

The true racial mix in the armed forces did not come until the end of World War II, with the integration of black combat units, during the term of Democrat Harry S. Truman (#33). Truman had the favorable vote of the “African Americans,” although back then they were not called as such. His electoral victory was a surprise, even to himself.

It is very difficult to pinpoint when the Republicans ceased to be the winning side in the Civil War and retreated to their winter quarters. But there is no doubt that the Democrats took over the role of the Republicans and vice versa.

When one hears Donald Trump’s slogan, MAGA (Make America Great Again,) and knows that Steve Bannon, convicted by US courts, accused of fraud, and later pardoned by Donald Trump, is behind it, there is no choice but to distrust the former American president.

By the way, The Economist is the world’s great liberal magazine. It was founded in London in 1843 by Scotsman James Wilson, following in the footsteps of David Hume and Adam Smith. At that time, the so-called “Corn Laws”, a protectionist legislation, were being hotly debated in the UK. Wilson and The Economist successfully defended free trade, one of the workhorses of liberalism, and those laws were repealed. Naturalist Herbert Spencer, a scientist who was the leader of liberalism, was also, for several years, the managing editor of the publication. It has a weekly circulation of 1.5 million copies, including US and Chinese editions. What appears in The Economist is of extraordinary importance.

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