White Rage in America

 

By Richard Colman

Periodically, an anger — perhaps arrogance — appears in the American electorate.

Often, the anger means the election of more Republicans although this is not always true.  The anger is palpable when it strikes Middle America, which is made up of people who are neither rich nor poor.

California, often a trend-setting state, may be on the verge of deep anger over high taxes, poor service from government (such as long lines at the Department of Motor Vehicles), a lack of affordable housing, traffic jams, ineffective public schools, and social engineering.

Social engineering is an attempt by government to bring about certain changes, such as the forced integration of neighborhoods, now inhabited largely by white people.

Social engineering can also mean giving preferences in school admissions and in hiring to people of color.

Civil rights laws — such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 — banned discrimination against ethnic minorities and women.  Hotels, for example, could not deny admission to ethnic minorities (such African-Americans, Asians, or Jews.)

However, these civil-rights laws did not demand redistribution of income, require a certain type of neighborhood composition, mandate special admissions criteria to schools, or provide special preferences in hiring.

The civil rights laws did not mention government-forced diversity.

Anger appeared 50 years ago, on Nov. 5, 1968, when Richard Nixon was elected president.  While the economy was performing reasonably well, Americans were upset and deeply divided over the war in Vietnam.  Higher prices for goods and services began to appear.  The price of gold, normally a hedge against inflation, began to increase.

In 1963-64, around the time President John Kennedy was assassinated, there were 16,000 troops in Vietnam.  By 1968, there were 500,000 Americans fighting in Vietnam.  No end to the war was visible.  About 60,000 Americans were killed in combat in Vietnam.

At the 1968 Republican convention in Miami Beach, Nixon said:  “When the strongest nation in the world can be tied down for four years in a war in Vietnam with no end in sight.  When the richest nation is the world can’t manage its own economy. . . Then it’s time for new leadership in the United State of America.”

In 1980, America had inflation, unemployment, recession, high interest rates, and anger over some 50 Americans being held hostage in Iran.

Ronald Reagan won the 1980 election with 489 electoral votes.  Incumbent president Jimmy Carter received 49 electoral votes.

At his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 1981, President Reagan said:  “We’re not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline.”

Then, on Nov. 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected president.  He won the Electoral College vote but lost the popular vote.  At his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017, Trump said:  “The forgotten men and women of our country, will be forgotten no longer . . . Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their facilities, and good jobs for themselves. . . This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”

If there is a common theme among Nixon, Reagan, and Trump, it is that the federal government was not paying attention to a majority of the nation’s voters.  These candidates, overtly or covertly, frequently talked about “the forgotten American.”

With Trump, there is anger over immigrants, many from Latin America, who have entered the United States illegally, who presumably have taken well-paying jobs away from ordinary Americans, who have committed crimes, and who have threatened the traditional European heritage that has existed in America over most of its history.

In effect, Trump is saying that he is giving white America its last chance.

Trump, in his frequent comments, could be talking about his successes:  full employment, significant job creation, and a tax cut.

Yet, Trump spends much of his time talking about a Witch Hunt.  Trump says that he is being pursued by enemies who think that he colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.  

Trump has also criticized such people as the late Senator John McCain.  In 2015, Trump, after announcing that he would be a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, said of McCain:  “He’s not a war hero.  He’s a war hero because he was captured.  I like people who weren’t captured.” 

McCain, a Navy war pilot, was from 1967 to 1973, a prisoner of war in North Vietnam after his warplane was shot down during a combat mission over that country.

Some elements in the Democratic Party want social engineering.  This means ending de facto segregation, the kind of segregation that comes from white people living in one place and African-Americans (or other people of color) living somewhere else.

Also, there are some Democrats who want to give special privileges to immigrants who are living illegally inside the United States and who do not want to go through the process of becoming citizens.  These Democrats are often accused of wanting open borders between the United States and Latin America. 

Trump’s policies are presumably designed to protect white people, especially those living in middle-income and high-income areas, from changing the existing public-school population.  There are certain Democrats who propose taking pupils from low-income areas, where there are people of color, and moving these pupils to the schools now attended by white people.

Residents of white neighborhoods claim that bringing in pupils of color will result in higher crime rates, including the use of illegal drugs.

Trump presumably is feeding off white resentment of social change, change that appears to be occurring too quickly. 

Americans are basically a tolerant and generous people.  However, when certain Americans believe that government is pushing them around, they rebel.

Donald Trump, and presumably Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan who came before Trump, are essentially a symptom of dissent or rage by Americans of white, European stock.

 

Editor’s note: We are committed to publishing all kinds of opinions, including those we don’t agree with. This article is one of them:  To equate the lowest unemployment in 49 years and the fastest growth in decades as Trump pandering to “white rage” is beyond incomprehensible. Black and Hispanic unemployment are at record lows. Trump is bending over backwards to ensure that ALL Citizens benefit in our society, via free enterprise, reasonable trade agreements and enforcing rights. The most offensive, unconstitutional and coercive social engineering and other objectionable policies are occurring at the state, not federal, level- especially in states like California.

 


Richard Colman is the founder and president of Biomed Inc., a biotechnology, publishing, and informatics company.  He is a biochemist and earned masters and doctoral degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.  He lives in Orinda, California.


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