The End of White Politics?
By Phillip Logan
Election night was many things to many Americans. For some, it was making history again. For others, it was redemption; redemption from a perceived taint on the American way of life. Unfortunately for the latter, victory went to the waves of history. As the left arch-villain Karl Rove frantically tried to make sense of President Obama’s sweeping election night victory, it was evident that something monumental was happening in the country. While many studies have been signaling America’s emerging minority-majority force on politics, the bell tolls for what may be the beginning of white Conservatism’s time in the sunset. Hispanics came out in force, women were mobilized like never before, several states legalized gay marriage, and the clouds over Colorado became thicker. If this is any indication, America may look less like ‘Leave it to Beaver’ in the near future. However, the victory dance maybe short lived.
As Mitt Romney gave his concession speech, the room was eerily quiet, minus the occasional shout outs. Even though the cameraman didn’t bother to pan the room, the littering of photos and tweets spilled across the internet, all displaying the discontent and racist vitriol of a virtually all-white, older, and more affluent America. It was then that the realization of the moment hit home. Romney was not just a candidate running against some imaginary Kenyan socialism; he was the last breath of an America truly unfit for the 21st century. While the talking heads of conservative radio languished about imagined marginalization of white conservatives, it was clear to them that an America that had little deference for their values, dogmas, and anxieties had called their bluff, bringing a gun to a knife fight. But what implications does this have when the resources and wealth needed to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure and institutions is concentrated in those very same bitter, prejudiced hands? It certainly doesn’t help that the wholesale embrace of Right-Libertarianism becomes ever more popular among those who wish to maintain their class and race privileges via Nietzschean consumerism and ‘small government’.
Paradoxically, most on the Left are sensible enough to cast doubt on President Obama’s pre-supposed messiah-like radical left turn; this writer can’t help but be deeply concerned by the continued wall of deflection that exists around the president. President Obama’s unifying tendencies will drive him to make a compromise with the House GOP, politicians who represent the very localities that are dominated by the discontented white petty-bourgeoisie of rural and Middle America. The reality that this moment lacks a countervailing force from the Left is another defeat for a Left that is unable to pull the brakes on rising inequality and go on the offensive against the Far-Right’s highly mobilized, dedicated, nationalist-populist, white middle class mob. The Far-Right is dedicated and will fight to the very end, even if that means the emergence of an authoritarian, propertarian-capitalist State in North America.
While it is clear that the locomotive of social change is barreling down the track, there is something brewing in America that intends to blow up the tracks.