Remember how Republican candidates this past election lauded the Real Americans they’d meet in some podunk Republican stronghold? Remember how this implied that all of us Americans who live on the West Coast or in cities or in the North East of the US weren’t Real Americans?
I found this tweet from Minnesotans for Marriage campaign manager Andy Parrish interesting:
— Andy Parrish (@AndyParrishMN) November 9, 2012
This fits the Fox News Republican Tea Party narrative that only the God-fearing, immigrant hating, gay hating, Obama haters are real Americans. The demographic problem with this narrative is a majority of Americans now live in metropolitan areas.
But I think Parrish’s quip get to something deeper. The racist, hate-filled right wing vision of his America was mostly destroyed last Tuesday. Gay Marriage is the law in 3 more states. Obama won despite a weak economy and the bazillions of dollars spent by SuperPACs to buy this election for Mitt Romney. A diarist at Daily Kos nailed it>:
Let me share this brief back and forth I had today in one of the forums I frequent, with a severely conservative, Christian man I assume from the context of previous postings, to be in the 50-60 year old range. Let’s call him Bob and it all started with this question:
- Bob – Is it America voting for President, or immigrants? Are immigrants really American, or just trying to be American?
Vent – America is immigrants. Without immigrants, there is no America, there are no Founding Fathers, there is no Constitution. Nuff said!
Bob – Obviously the exemplary argument.
Vent – Sorry if you hate what America is but those are the facts. The only “real” American’s are Native Americans. Everyone else is either an immigrant, a descendent of immigrants or a descendent of slavery.
Bob – It looks like you are the one that hates America for what it is, or was, or whatever. There is evidence that white people were in America prior to the “Native” Americans. The cave in Utah had tall red headed people in them, killed by “Natives”. The magical land bridge the “Natives” crossed from Russia, into Alaska, and etc….
At this point I realized we’d run out of tin foil on aisle 4 and as I walked away from the computer I laughed thinking, “this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.” But then my laughter turned to confusion and then sadness as I began to process what he was really trying to say to me. I obviously understood he was in mourning over the loss but as I dwelled on this brief exchange, I began to realize that it’s about much more than his candidate simply not winning and far beyond any political party. This was much deeper than all of that.
What Bob had really lost in this election was his vision of America. The vision that had been preserved since before he was born and the vision he grew up fighting to preserve. Now, we’re not talking about a “Romney” vision of America where it’s about making the rich, richer with more trickle down economics. No, he was talking about an America of, by and for white people. With the re-election of Barack Obama, he saw his vision of America crumble for good and it’s the same vision that all of conservatism saw crumble.
The depths of depression and soul searching going on in the GOP is rooted in that thinking. For them it’s the same. It’s not just losing an election. This election was special. This election was for all the marbles but not because they want to cut spending or balance the budget for fear of rising debt. No, that’s just a smoke screen for the agenda that has survived for way to long.