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The world is changing, and in a desperate attempt to keep a finger in the dike, a seeming majority of American white males are missing historic opportunities to help steer the world to a better place. Nationalism and xenophobia, not to mention a myopic trust in myth and fable, will not prevail in the long run.
I read recently that twice as many American white males will vote for Romney than Obama. Despite the fact that very few of those American white males are even remotely located within the camp of the one percent that owns 43 percent of the county’s wealth, or the five percent that owns the other 40 percent, they still think that the Backwards Doctrine is the best thing for them.
A head in the sand is apparently worth more than a stable and equitable society. That’s the platform for the New Conservative Neanderthal Party (NCNP), formerly the Republicans. Go read the party’s platform for yourself. The boogeyman is everywhere.
In my fairly frequent interactions with American white males of the NCNP persuasion, I have noticed that what is lacking is a coherent vision for where the nation as a whole should be headed. I say should be headed because many have indicated with blind assurance that the nation as a whole is headed towards—take your pick:
Insecurity and weakness
A seeming majority of American white males will flail their arms about passionately that American values are under assault, that welfare moms are having babies and driving Cadillacs bought and sold with food stamp cards. American white males see reverse discrimination creeping upon their population, and that apple pie and the American flag are going the way of the passenger pigeon.
A seeming majority of American white males seem to believe that the spirits of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone and God with a flowing white beard high in the clouds are falling to the whims of fanatical environmentalists and atheist scientists who work for the EPA and will keep the population from utilizing the vast forests and prairies and mountains and from developing sulfide mines and an industrial food complex that’s second to none.
American white males flail their arms about and holler that freedoms are being lost even as they can’t answer this simple question when posed: which freedom are you talking about?
I have asked that question many a time, and I still don’t have a coherent answer.
Boogeymen populate much of the beliefs of the white American male. Boogeymen are everywhere. Even though the nation spends fully 59 percent of the federal budget on the military (Department of Defense, war, Veterans Affairs, and nuclear weapons), even though we have more nukes and planes and drones and military bases worldwide than nearly the rest of the world combined, American white males seem to believe that we are in a position of weakness, that France, for crying out loud, might soon be tougher than us.
Boogeymen are everywhere. Even though the leading climate change skeptic has changed his mind and acknowledges that the thin veil of atmosphere that surrounds our planet is being filled with greenhouse gases caused by human activity, American white males feel an assault on their character and continue to deny. Instead of seeing the planet as the only thing any society can truly hand off to its progeny, they’d rather wade into the waters of deficit spending and Big Government and ObamaCare and worry that whites will no longer hold a majority stake in a very diverse nation.
American white males won’t just come out and say that, of course. Well, some will, but the majority will continue to flail their arms about and wish for a different world that once populated the TV, a nation of hard-working, white, middle-class people like Ozzie and Harriet and Ronald Reagan and the Lone Ranger.
It was so simple in those days when we ran the free world because we were the lone nation not destroyed by war. We made everything right here in the good old USA, and for thirty years following the war we bought more stuff than the rest of the world combined, good old American stuff.
American white males don’t want to hear Reagan economic advisor Bruce Bartlett say that the notion of trickle-down economics just didn’t work, that cutting taxes and regulations didn’t build revenue through sales but did create revenue for investors and the One Percent.
American white males want to believe the myth of Reagan when the fact was that he presided over an economic theory that kept the country in a recession for half of his presidency and saw unemployment rates of 10 percent and more from 1981 to 1983.
Instead of the obvious, American white males want to believe socialism is the cause for economic ruin, not Wall Street greed and hedge funds, leveraged buyouts, derivatives, mortgage flipping, and any other fiscal scheme used to create wealth rather than actual product. Strangely, American white males want to ignore the fact that their candidate was and likely still is a leading proponent of the very fiscal games that have ultimately led the free market toward ruin and sent living-wage jobs overseas.
No, American white males want to believe a white guy with shiny hair and a shoeshine running for president who will go back and try to prove that failed economic theory will work this time, as jobs continue to be outsourced in search of cheap labor and big returns in the Thirty Years War on the American worker and the middle class.
Let’s be fair and say that not all white males fall into the category of the ignorant and oblivious. There are the poets and the pipefitters who seem to be able to differentiate between fact and fiction, between fear and hope. Their boogeyman is a closed mind that won’t open, that the specter of such habits will be passed on to future generations to cloud, not clear, the social contract all people have with one another.
In the words of Bob Melvin, the Two-Faced Man of the Royal American Show, the man who sold the world’s smallest Bible in the midway of the Minnesota State Fair, a mentor and a kindhearted oddity, “We’ve got to look out for each other in this world, or we’re sunk.”