Old battles

by | Dec 6, 2021 | Editor's Blog | 15 comments

I got into a discussion on Twitter with a woman who believes the threat of right-wing political violence and the threat to democracy are overblown. She comes from the left, not the right. I realized that our differences, in part, come from perspective. What I see happening in the country right now doesn’t seem new; it seems like the fight we’ve been having for generations and, now, my side is losing. 

The fight has less to do with Democrats or Republicans than the forces of reaction and progress. Those forces have been at play in the state for centuries and have never really gone away. Today, the reactionaries are ascendant. 

I was born into a world of tumult. Violence was common throughout the South and in my home county. I remember hearing about shootings, bombings, and Klan marches when I was a young boy. I also remember the integration of the schools and how all of the turmoil died down as civil rights took hold and the Vietnam War ended.

Still, there were always kids who bragged about their fathers’ participation in the Ku Klux Klan. Even if they made the claims in private conversations, there was a sense of pride. White supremacy was a core value, but economic resentment and cultural displacement were driving factors. 

In the 1980s, the reactionaries found a home in the religious right of the Moral Majority. They’ve long claimed that the country is a Christian nation and many of their fights played out over prayer in schools or placing the Ten Commandments in courtrooms. They seemed satisfied in a traditional political party as long as that party was ascendant or dominant as it was in the South throughout the late 20th and early 21st centuries.  

Then, the shock of Obama left them angry and motivated. The election of a Black man to the White House was followed by a number of cultural defeats, including the legalization of same-sex marriages. Rapid urbanization and the deterioration of manufacturing that propped up the economies of small towns and rural areas led to increased resentment. Donald Trump, a conman of unusual talent, turned that resentment into a movement. 

Today, the forces that simmered under the surface for decades have proudly burst into daylight. Four years ago, the march in Charlottesville shocked the nation. Today, similar events warrant barely a shrug. Just this weekend, 100 or so right-wing activists marched through Washington and most people don’t even know it.  

The threat to our democracy is real. Look no further than the ubiquitous phrase from the right, “We’re a republic, not a democracy” as proof. Relatively mainstream conservatives are justifying anti-democratic action with Constitutionally dishonest interpretations of our political system. The Founding Fathers did not intend for rule by the minority. 

Republicans across the country are distorting rules and passing laws intended to undermine democracy, just as the reactionaries did in the South a bit over 100 years ago. The battle for our democracy is not new but it feels more dangerous. In the past, the forces of reaction seemed to be relegated to the South, with limited hotspots across the nation. Today, the movement feels much broader and with little opposition within the current GOP. The reactionaries don’t just wield influence over the Republican Party, they’ve taken it over completely. 

The danger is not the wannabe Brownshirts marching in the streets. The danger comes from the Republican elected officials who ignore them. Those Members of Congress, state legislators, judges, county commissioners, council of state members, and city councillors who should be the bulwark against threats to our system are, instead, following the lead of Donald Trump and his legion of misinformed or cynical devotees. They are the ones who will declare victory for Republicans in elections hijacked by anti-democratic rules and regulations. The wannabe Brownshirts will just enforce their victory, just like the Red Shirts before them.


  1. Phoenix

    Didn’t here much on this in the news.



    A federal appeals court on Wednesday questioned the Biden administration’s efforts to conceal large portions of an internal legal memo clearing former President Trump of wrongdoing in connection with the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.


    WASHINGTON, Aug 20 (Reuters) – The FBI has found scant evidence that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result, according to four current and former law enforcement officials.

    • cocodog

      Wrong again Phoenix, the appeals court, sitting in bank, did not question Biden or his administration on attempts to conceal white house records currently stored in the National Archives. ((that was not an issue in the writ presented by Trump’s attorneys) No, it was the other way around, Biden and his administration had ordered the release of Trump and his marry little bands’ records, memos etc. currently stored in the National Archives at the request of the Jan 6 Congressional Committee investigating sedition and insurrection against the Government of the United States. Once again, you are not making true statements.

      • phoenix

        These are just articles I found. Its just a data point. Accept it or not. I don’t care.

        I honestly don’t care what comes out of the Jan 6 thing. Its meaningless in the big scheme. Very little to nothing will come out of it. By march 2022 it will be memory holed and forgotten.

        2022 Democrats are going to be a minority party for a very long time because they have not learned any lessons from the last time the electorate kicked them to the curb. That election brought us Trump. Not only did they NOT LEARN they actually DOUBLED DOWN on the rank stupidity that got them fired in the first place. The true definition of insanity.

        So now in the 2022 midterms, I think they will be sent to the wilderness for a long time until they understand what they are supposed to do. Which is 100% NOT what they are doing now. and it HALTS once and for all the Democrat idiocy, and American can breathe a sigh of relief (maybe) epublicans bring their own problems.

        2024 probably gives us Trump if he runs. Regardless, it will not be a Democrat.

        Jan 6 is meaningless and is keeping Democrats focused on something they should not be paying attention to. Fine by me.

  2. cocodog

    Just as expected, old A. Jones will be left holding the bag before the Congressional Hearings on the Jan 6th domestic terrorism. Stone says the 5th exempts him from showing (he is soon to find out, he must appear and then plead the 5th) and Meadows, says Donald was angered by the agreeing to show and disclosing that Trump was aware of the fact he had COVID before holding the Gold Star Mothers rally, so he will not. I wonder how long it will take for Donald’s marry little band of followers to figure out, the boss of bosses never does time, but his followers do?

    • tmagnuson

      Mr. Mills, you lost me when you asserted that the founders did not intend minority rule; that was their finest gambit. JC Calhoun’s ideal state consisted of two classes only, ‘the riders and the ridden,’ and guess what the GOP has been working toward for decades.

      • Fetzer Mills Jr

        John C. Calhoun wasn’t a founder. He was an insurrectionist firebreather, mouth breather, too.

  3. cocodog

    It is going to be interesting to hear what A. Jones, (freshmen year college dropout), Roger Stone (AKA: the white assassin ) and Meadows ( small down boy who made it to the big time) have to say about Jan 6th under oath before congress. I wager they take the fifth rather than place themselves in line for a charge of lying to congress. I wonder if their challenged little band of followers will be able to handle it.

    • phoenix

      Given that the elite never answer for anything they do (both parties) I doubt what you propose will ever happen. everyone is are running out the clock

      • cocodog

        Not true, the mopping up operation is going quite well in the justice system. So far Rudy was disbarred, several more Trump attorneys are on their way to or have been disbarred, Stone would be serving time if the boss had not pardoned him and several others as he was walking out the door. Jones is fighting a civil judgement, The investigations of Trump shenanigans are still on in NY, and Georgia and it looks like the next Georgia governor is going to be a democrat.
        Of course, the boss of bosses has his problems. the defendant in no fewer than 29 lawsuits, per The Washington Post, he was the subject of numerous criminal investigations, including one in which attorneys had obtained access to his tax returns—documents that for some reason he spent the last four years fighting tooth and nail to keep secret.
        Not the best situation for a guy that has what might be called plastic assets to pay lawyer’s fees and judgments. I know of few attorneys willing to take the boss “pro bono”, no they are going to demand their money up front. Then, we are not looking at what is going on with all those folks he owes money. Several billion as I understand it.

        • Phoenix

          Well we’ll see. I’m not as confident as you. The elites always slip away.

          • cocodog

            I find it difficult to picture Fat Donnie slipping away! In fact, that has been his problem all along, he is not smart or clever enough to cover his tracks. His big mouth announces to the world his shenanigans. He may not go to the slammer, but I bet he ends up living in his kid’s basement. LOL

  4. Phoenix

    You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

    • Melissa Myer

      Why do you think your statements have any merit? Sure you can exclaim that others don’t know what they are talking about. That’s your opinion. The thing is, you don’t provide any evidence that you do know what you are talking about. Somehow your opinion is more enlightened and intelligent than theirs? Why should anyone believe it?
      I can understand why this woman didn’t see 1/6 as being as dangerous as others make it out to be. Those that stormed the Capital were a small percentage of the rally attendees. As I watched the tiki torch marchers in Charlottesville I kept waiting for a response from the president. They were making anti Semitic statements and I kept thinking his daughter, son in law and grandchildren are Jewish. These people are offending them and the president isn’t standing up or defending them? Trump invited racists and bigots into the party because he doesn’t care about what they stand for. He only sees them as a vote for him. He surrounds himself with the ethically challenged and criminals because he is one himself. One thing I do know is that criminals hang out with other criminals. And as Trump once said, “Only mobsters plead the fifth”

  5. cocodog

    On Jan 6, 2021, the world witnessed a modern-day application of the medieval notion of that which is agreeable to the prince, hath the force of law. Trump and his marry little gaggle of grafters and political losers tried to subvert the will of the people by lying and the application of primitive force. Well, it failed. That is right, folks withing the inner circle of the prince betrayed his scheme and brought about order. His born-again vice prince, refused to join the conspirators and his own minions disguised their persona and fled in disgrace. The forces of democracy are slowly repairing the damage done to the Capital and mopping up the prince’s forces and bringing them before the courts of justice. The prince himself sits on his throne located on his golf course not accessible to 99% of his true believers but supported partially by their Tax funds spinning misinformation on the social media that will have him and planning his triumphant return. Only in America is this possible!

  6. Phoenix

    You should link to the discussion on twitter. If it happened at all.

    Parsing you is tiresome. So I won’t bother this time. People complain when I correct you.

    All I can say is you need new material, and understanding.

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