It’s done. President Joseph Biden has officially replaced the man who for the majority of us was the most nightmarish president ever to hold the office. Now it should be clear to all of us what the bone of contention we’ve been so bitterly fighting each other over is about. We have only one issue to settle between us before we can unite and perform up to the full measure of our potential as a country. The issue is white privilege – should we have it or not. Is it a legitimate version of America or not? We can stop talking about the economy, abortion or immigration. All of that will settle itself if we can come to agreement on that one issue. Conversely, none of it will be settled until we can come to agreement on that one issue.
We can only end the “uncivil war” as the President described it in his inaugural speech, by coming to terms on the issue of white privilege. I have been describing the conflict between Americans as a cold civil war, but I think the President’s description is much more accurate. It calls attention to the demonization of our positions on issues of honest disagreement. In reality, where you stand of those issues has come to determine whether you are for white privilege or against it, even though the issues themselves frequently have nothing at all to do with white privilege.
President Biden’s speech was indicative of a man who appreciates the audacity of the task of uniting the country. I hope he understands that whether or not he can do it depends on the Republicans and not on him and his good intentions. Moderate and other traditional Republicans must untether themselves from Trump and his cult of white privilege fanatics if there is any chance of working across the aisle. The President must understand that there is no compromise on the issue of white privilege. The acid test for whether or not he can work with the present Republican congress is how they vote on impeachment.
There can be no doubt in anyone’s mind of what Trump’s intentions were and of his culpability in the attempted overthrow of the duly elected government. We all saw it and heard it. There is no reasonable doubt about what happened. A vote not to impeach, besides being a tacit endorsement of what Trump did and validation of the lie that he wasn’t fairly voted out of office, but it is also a declaration of support for the idea of white privilege, and a desire hold on to Trump’s base of fascists, nationalists and white supremacists. If the Republicans want their party back, they are going to have to be willing to go out and do the hard work of going door to door if necessary to deprogram their constituents. They can’t keep running away from primary confrontations out of fear of Trump’s cult of followers. Otherwise President Biden and the Democrats can only make their purpose clear to the electorate on every issue Republicans attempt to stop them on and hope for a Republican wipeout in the next midterm general elections. That of course would signal that Americans have embraced equal justice for all over white privilege and put an end to Trumpism forever. Biden and his Democrats must make sure the public understands that white privilege vs. equal justice for all, is the real issue whenever impasses with Republicans arises and not give them cover in the guise of the economy or abortion.
One way or another, it is the Republicans’ courage or lack there of that to a large degree will determine America’s fate in the immediate future. The Democrats can get the issues on the on the floor for debate, and force them to show their true colors, but in the end, it will be the Republicans and their constituents that will determine our immediate fate. So far, the Josh Hawley’s and the Ted Cruises have staked out their positions. They are counting on the 70 plus million Trump voters to side with the cause of white privilege. It is up to those that haven’t outwardly declared their allegiance to white privilege to build a real constituency of their own out of the 40 million or so Republican voters who may be open to seeing America in a different light other than the archaic, narrow view of it being the province of whites only.
Like Biden, I’m walking a thin line between appealing to the 40 million or so Trump voters who may not be completely indoctrinated by the white privilege narrative to appreciate the value of equal justice for all and offending them by pointing out the pernicious effect of their white privilege on the nation. Biden has two tremendous obstacles to his dream of uniting America. They are human nature and fear of loss. Human nature is manifested by the resistance of all human beings to admitting they were wrong. Our human nature compels us to defend every belief we hold to be true, no matter how much it has been proven wrong or hurts others or ourselves. We would rather be right than happy, rich or loved. The second obstacle is their fear of what the loss of white privilege will do to their quality of life. It has to be hard for the average white person to imagine what life without white privilege will be like. The only reassurance I can offer them off hand is to point out that the people responsible for creating the world that is so frightening to them now have used that fear of loss to seduce them to consistently vote against their own best interests. Given the downward spiral the country has been thrown into by Trump’s white supremacist rule, white Americans really have nothing to lose by seeing themselves as something greater than heirs to an immoral culture and a world consisting only of the abused and the abusers.
In the weeks and months ahead, I will be attempting to uncover what those who would empower the concept of white privilege fear will happen if they lose it. I don’t understand it, but I know that I can never hope to cultivate mutual trust until I fully explore and understand it. As I have said, the first step finding the servility and happiness we all seek is respectful, honest communication.
Lastly, I would like to remind all who believe in America as a place of equal justice for all, that this is not the time to rest on our laurels. We must not make the same mistake we did in 2008. We can celebrate for a couple of days and then we must get right back to work. It’s going to take an even greater voter turn out than we produced in the presidential elections to achieve a greater edge in congress and to unseat the hardcore white privilege advocates. We must never again let our guard down in defense of our “fragile, but resilient democracy”.