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Whose America is it, anyway?

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I was driving on I-5 through far northern California and southern Oregon over the weekend, changing the station on my car radio for something to listen to on that lonely stretch through the mountain passes. Found some decent rock out of Medford and Salem, but otherwise, pretty much all Christian radio and rightwing shock jock stuff; this is, after all, alt.right country, sometimes called by its secession-minded residents the State of Jefferson.

The Christian station had a preacher man telling “girls”—not women or ladies, but “girls”—what to look for in a potential husband. Pretty demeaning, I thought, but then, I’m not a born-again Christian “girl” out husband-shopping. He had his top ten list, of which number one—I kid you not—was “Look for a man comfortable with and capable of being the spiritual leader of the household.”

Wow. I did not know evangelicals were still big on that male dominion thing. With all due respect to Christians, what century is this, anyway? I mean, those Bible verses about the man being the authority in the marriage were written, when? Three thousand years ago, when women were chattel, polygamy the norm, slavery was legal, and it was permissible to kill a man if he did not anoint his sheep on the Sabbath. We’ve come a long way since then, thankfully: women now have equal rights. But not, apparently, for evangelicals.

On talk radio I came across Savage Nation, Michael Savage’s anger-porn program, where they were talking about the O.J. Simpson parole. That was pretty interesting—I mean, who doesn’t have an opinion one way or the other?—until some caller chimed in with (I paraphrase, but not by much), “I’m glad that with OJ we have REAL news to talk about, instead of all that fake Russia stuff.”

Another “wow.” So O.J. Simpson is “real news,” while RussiaGate isn’t. Okay. Jeff Sessions, the Attorney-General of the United States, repeatedly lying about his meetings with Russians. Donald Trump, Jr., changing his story how many times? Michael Flynn and Manafort, the consiglieres. Jared with unexplained ties to Russia, and not reporting untold millions in income. The Russians meddling in our elections, infiltrating actual voting machines; national security secrets shared by this president with Putin’s henchmen. And Trump himself? The spider at the center of the web, possibly committing treason, at the very least obstructing justice—an impeachable offense. All this would seem, to normally intelligent Americans, to be pretty consequential, but not to rightwing evangelicals, for whom O.J. Simpson is more important to the Republic’s continuation than a clear threat to its demise.

Finally, in this dump of rightwing talk radio, I came across none other than the disgraced Newt Gingrich, talking about RussiaGate. Here was his take, quote: “This resistance isn’t against Trump, it’s against the will of the American people.” Reality check: The Resistance is against Trump. I can speak authoritatively, because I’m a member of The Resistance and have been since Sept. 5, 2016, when I changed the topic of this blog from wine to Trump. So you can believe me when I say The Resistance is concerned with one thing, and one thing only: this insane, unbalanced, mendacious and dangerous POTUS. As for the will of the American people, two points: (a) Hillary got three million more votes than Trump, and (b) by a majority in the polls, the American people don’t trust this president. They know he’s a liar. I mean, American history doesn’t end on Election Day. It’s not like we have to keep what we bought, even though it’s clearly broken; we can return it and demand our money back. We Americans adjust our thinking all the time, based on facts. And after what we’ve seen the last six months, most Americans are sick and tired of Trump and want him gone.

Well, I guess the stretch of “Jefferson” I drove through isn’t really “America.” If the “civil war” that Alex Jones and his teabag friends are calling for actually erupts, this might be the site of a famous battleground, like Gettysburg, where Blue State meets Red State in bloody confrontation. Clearly, people like these Jefferson staters believe that Trump is the honest, moral friend of the workingman, ha ha. Clearly, they don’t care if Russia meddles in our elections or even if Putin is able to manipulate their outcomes. Perhaps they don’t give a damn who owns America. I find that appalling, but my study of these rightwing evangelicals suggests that they are not like me, not like the Americans I’ve grown up with, and certainly not like my parents’ “Greatest Generation,” which would have repudiated Trump and all he stands for, since it is what they fought against. I take great pride in being an American, but Trump’s America is not mine.


  1. Bob Rossi says:

    So now I see where has-beens like Newt Gingrich reside. As to The Resistance, I think that most people who oppose Trump mostly just oppose Trump. Every once in awhile my wife or a friend will say to me, when the subject of a possible impeachment comes up: “But then we’re stuck with Pence.” And my retort is that I’ll take my chances with Pence. I probably disagree with pretty much everything he stands for, but I don’t feel he’s crazy.

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