I’m going to level with you; as the title of this article suggests, I’m not American, I am in fact an Aussie, and as a gesture of goodwill before I bestow upon you my interpretation of modern America, I would like to gift you Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Paul Hogan. I’d gift you Russell Crowe and Mel Gibson, but I fear it would incite violence on a scale not seen since…well…Mel Gibson’s spousal abuse and Russell Crowe’s phone-throwing incident. On behalf of my fellow country-people, I offer my sincere apologies for Aussies who act badly abroad, can you forgive us? Alright I’ll throw in Chris Hemsworth just to sweeten the deal, but that’s my final offer!
Anyway! I do pay close attention to the cultural and political ebbs and flows of the “land of the free and the home of the brave”. I mean, let’s face facts, if an American farts too loud Australia rumbles. Therefore, I feel I have a vested interest in, and genuine reason to stay on top of, what Australia’s cousins across the Pacific are up to on a regular basis, and you guys have been really busy lately haven’t you?
What America is currently experiencing is unprecedented. The country is as divided as it was pre-Civil War, or, for a more modern Millennial reference ; America is as divided as it was when Anthony Weiner’s ‘dick pics’ cost him the New York Mayorship; is there no justice in the world? A man harmlessly unleashes his ‘appendage’ onto social media to underage girls, multiple times, and people deem him to be unfit for Mayorship – and all this from a country who could forgive a President; a President! For receiving sexual favours in the ‘Oval Office’ from a young, idealistic intern. I mean, this is the room where Kennedy decided the fate of the Cubin Missile Crisis; the room where Bush Jnr decided to invade Afghanistan after the horror of 9/11; the room where Nixon conspired to conspire against anyone and everyone. Oh America, if I didn’t love you so much I’d have to give you a stern talking to and send you to bed without supper. You naughty! Naughty country!
Regardless, the US is experiencing a considerable resurgence of racism, misogyny and general xenophobia, and it’s coming from the more blue-collar states of America who, wrongly or rightly (I’d suggest wrongly), believe that “Illegal Aliens” are taking their jobs; taking their livelihoods, but more importantly, taking their right to earn double what said Aliens earn for doing half the work; all of which has manifested in the election of the bloated, tangerine, blowhard himself; Donald J. Trump. I would argue however, that a Trump Presidency is almost worth it for Alec Baldwin’s SNL piss-take of the abomination that is a Trump Presidency…almost!
Tensions between the more conservative and progressive factions of the country has reached fever pitch and has resulted in a standoff of epic proportions with one side denouncing “thinkers and globalists” as “Libtards” and the other side denouncing the “ignorant, angry isolationists” as “Trump-Supporters”. Yes! It appears that the term “Trump-Supporter” has entered the popular vernacular and is now an insult in-and-of itself. “Trump-Supporter” has taken its place amongst such esteemed company as the “Flat-Earthers” and “Mouth-Breathers”; ouch!
…but I digress! I’ve been thinking long and hard about what is happening in America; what is driving this divide and this descent into oligarchy and plutocracy; what is driving this Mexican standoff (pardon the pun), between Progressives and Conservatives? What is driving the mutual disdain between the blue-collar and the white and/or rainbow-collar? The university educated and the non-university-educated? The Trump-Voter and, well, everyone else?
Well, as promised, here are my thoughts as an outsider looking in. Brace yourselves for an Aussie perspective America! I know how much you love non-American perspectives of your social and political culture, so, enjoy!
Here’s what’s going on; the Confederates never got over losing the Civil War, it’s true, and most of America’s internal problems stem from this point in history. From the failure of the Confederates to win the Civil War the Ku Klux Klan was born; a group who represent the white person’s right to essentially hate, or at the very least, feel superior to, anyone who isn’t white. They do seem to be okay with tangerine though – go figure.
Now, I’m not suggesting for a minute that all Confederates hate non-whites, but it was a movement born of the loss of the Civil War and the Confederate states pursuing their own vigilantism in the face of defeat by the Union; the Lincolnites, or as they would probably be known today, and will hereafter be referred to as; the “Lincotards”.
In essence, the KKK was born of a desire to keep deep “Southern values” like racial supremacy and purity, slavery, and an unnatural addiction to butter, alive, despite the fact that the Lincotards had all of the institutional powers to impose their laws onto the Confederate States, and to amend the Constitution to suit progressive values – hence the fact that Conservatives do not revere the Constitution the way that Progressives do – with the exception of the Second Amendment; “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”, which is essentially a throwback to Confederate history and values, and one they will allow practically anyone to die for to preserve; perhaps because it’s the only enshrined Confederate cultural heritage that remains in a country they perceive to be controlled by Lincotards dictating the political and social landscape.
For Confederates, the American Constitution is a document of oppression, and a reminder of their failure to win the war of ideals, and the right to immortalise their own version of historical bullshit for generations to come, instead of the Lincotard’s version of historical bullshit. Not judging, as Australia does it too.
Furthermore, there’s also that other, shall we say, inconvenient part of the constitution; the First Amendment, that stipulates the tenets of separation of ‘Church’ and the godless, heathenness, hell-fire and damnation-bound ‘State’ – otherwise known as, “the people”. Yes the head-belt-wearing, knicker-bocker-rocking, witch-burning, pure as the fresh driven snow, Pilgrims would be rolling in their shallow graves if they knew how far their America had been pillaged and plundered by the heathens, and sent kicking and screaming down the path of universal equality and progress! May the Lord have mercy on their wicked, wicked progressive souls!
So, when we consider where Conservatism comes from and how it came to be in its current form, it’s my contention that America is utterly divided based on two concurrent versions of history, depending on what side of the propagandist, myth-making machine you come from; the Lincotard version or the Confederate version. Both are two sides of the same coin in that they preach the primacy and exceptionalism of the USA, and its greatness, simply by virtue of it being the USA, yet in fundamentally different ways. Don’t get me wrong, both versions of history are based on bullshit and delusion in their own right, it’s just that the Confederate version is far more destructive in the modern age.
What we’re seeing now is the rise of modern American Conservatism, and with it, the rise of a form of “Confederate Nationalism” that has been oppressed for so long by, you guessed it! “Liberal Elites”! Who apparently think they know everything, which is terribly offensive, because it isn’t about thinking they know everything, it’s about knowing they know everything. See what I did there?
When we consider that Conservative Nationalism is very much intertwined with the history of forced slavery; the KKK and those ‘wacky’ Pilgrims, it becomes clearer why the KKK have aligned themselves with Trump and been so open with their agenda, and why the Confederates are so supportive of Trump generally, and his brand of “controversial leadership”. The Confederates feel that their time has finally come; this is what they’ve been waiting for; the supremacy of the Confederates after 150 years of oppression by the Lincotards.
Incidentally, and off topic, for a wonderful depiction of Confederate propaganda watch “The Santa Fe Trail’, starring Ronald Regan and the stunning display of man-hood that was Errol Flynn. It’s worth it just to see Flynn looking amazing and tanned in his uniform, flashing that beautiful, pearly-white smile in pretty much every scene he’s in, which is most of them…sigh! But alas, my ovaries get the better of me; my point is that the film is terribly Nationalistic and, really, a shining example of early Hollywood propaganda, but it’s also a shining example of the Confederate’s understanding of, and reverence for, their version of history. Well worth a look. It certainly gave me an insight into what motivated the Republican Godfather; Regan, as President.
Regardless, we’re now seeing the intersection of two very strong and related ideologies under the Confederate banner; the new or Neo-Confederates and the old-school KKK-Confederates. Their view is that they have been silenced since the loss of the Civil War in 1865, or at the very least, swept aside by what they perceive to be, the dominant Lincotard American culture. They feel that they have been largely relegated to a ‘ceremonial’ role in American history, and one that is mocked as a national pass-time. I’m referring to the bastardised version of Confederate culture, one that even a non-American, Sasha Baron Cohen, so famously, and unfairly, mocked in his mocumentary ‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’’.
The message is loud and clear for Confederates, that they can practice their culture and acknowledge their heritage, but in a culturally-controlled vacuum; that is to say, a celebration of cowboys, guns, biscuits ‘n’ gravy, the pilgrims, and their adherence to a fundamental understanding of the bible and Christian religion, but it is restricted beyond those paradigms.
However, that is changing as Conservatives have gained, and held power in Congress for the best part of a decade and a half, and currently control both houses with a considerable margin – another sign of their rising power, which is to Confederates, a symbol of the rise of their culture and values that have been so subjugated and denigrated for well over a century.
There’s one other Confederate cultural identification that is even more destructive than fundamentalist Christianity, but very much part of its fabric, and that is the fascination with heroism and military culture as a form of cultural identity. The rise of a dominant military culture, and the myth of heroism that accompanies it, requires a culture of war. In order to maintain a military culture, there needs to be endless wars and conflicts to fight. Confederates love war, because it gives them purpose and it reinforces the strength and exceptionalism of their cultural heritage.
Much like Sparta and Athens, the Confederates (Spartans), saw, and continue to see, the world as a hostile place. Confederates also see America as God’s country – with a Capital G, and war, as God’s will. They want to fight wars because they see it as their duty to defend what God gifted them as the chosen people; the incredibly diverse and stunning terrain of the continent of North America – is it any wonder they feel it’s a gift from God himself? But more importantly, a reason to live; to fight for the continent of North America in the name of God; God’s country and God’s chosen people.
The Athenians (Lincotards), on the other hand, wanted to progress humanity; to engage in philosophical exploration and the expansion of our understandings of our world; how we relate to each other and the universe, all in an attempt to change the dominant narrative of human co-existence; and we all know what happened to Athens; Sparta handed their arses to them on a finely crafted, beautifully painted, fish-plate, while shouts of “philosophise about this bitches!”, could be heard far and wide. Okay, I made that bit up…and the bit about the fish-plate…and the bit about having their arses handed to them…it was more likely to be their heads or their entrails, which the Spartans probably ate for the nourishment, or maybe not, I made that up too.
Regardless, Confederates are the modern-day Spartans, and they have a mission, and that’s what makes all the difference. The very idea that they are on a mission from God, is a terribly seductive narrative to focus on, and to lean on to give your life purpose and meaning.
From the Athenian perspective, God is sidelined and replaced with something far more ambiguous and far less absolute; humanist ideals. Confederates really do believe that America was gifted to them by God, and no man, woman or child should ever question God’s word or his divine plan. For Lincotards, everything is open to interpretation and criticism; even the existence of god/s. Notice the small g? This is terribly destabilising for the Confederate culture, and their belief system. Simply by questioning the existence of their God, you are questioning what their entire culture is based on. This goes some way to explaining their inability, or outright refusal to accept, blatant facts about religion; our environment and the Cosmos.
Now, of course any discussion about modern American Conservatism and the Confederates should include the issue of charlatanism; those who pretend to support Conservative values for their own gain. To that I say; where there is power, there are people trying to take advantage of it by any means necessary; and yes, in my opinion Paul Ryan is one such charlatan, but that’s a topic for another article.
So, in conclusion, and to tie these random musings together into one cohesive idea, this article is just a long-winded way of saying that the USA is not united and never was, and that if the USA is to become united, which is doubtful in the foreseeable future, then this is the scenario that needs to be reconciled; no easy task and one that will be cross-generational, but one that has to start somewhere. And I think I know where it needs to start, don’t you? Does anyone have Kenny Rogers’s personal number?
America, I really do love the guts out of you, warts and all, and have visited many times and have American friends that I love dearly. However, you are at the bottom of crap mountain; a huge conflict of culture that was never resolved after the Civil War. America, you are essentially the Western version of North and South Korea. In fact, I could even argue that, as wacked-out as Kim Jon Ung’s hair is, it’s the epitome of “on-trend” style compared to whatever is growing, or just surviving, on top of Trump’s head.
I’ll leave you with the words of a wonderful US comedian; Rich Hall (Google him kids), and his musings on Donald Trump:
“How can he control a country, when he can’t even control his hair?”, indeed!
Here’s a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FDjZP6k6r8 – (video of Rich Hall at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival discussing a Trump Presidency)
Thanks for reading and good luck America, I sincerely hope you come out the other side a stronger and far more united country, I really do. It’s worth fighting for.
Incidentally, does anyone have a good recipe for biscuits ‘n’ gravy? And I still don’t have Kenny Rogers’s number…