Readers: this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020).  Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution.  More about the Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1List and general description of entries to date.

Note: most entries are formatted as conversations.  Characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters (see link at top of page).  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Coffee shop near Jordan’s office Washington, DC.  JC, Greenie and Jordan continuing conversation from previous day.  Series starts Entry #265.  This entry is a bit longer because the topic is a bit more complex.

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC: “So we all agree…as did most of the public except the one percenters and Republicans inside the Beltway…that the Trump so-called tax reform act was not tax reform. It was a giveaway to the rich. The tax bill also gave extra special help, of course, to the downtrodden Trump family. Bless their little hearts.”

Greenie: “My, my, Miss Daisy, aren’t we cynical today?”

JC: “There’s no cynicism. The GOP, aka Gutless Old Politicians, took out their souls and donated them to King Donald. Then the King proceeded to humiliate his very supporters whenever his Twitter brain took control.”

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie: “Alright, alright, let’s ratchet back to why we started this conversation. And what I’m trying to write about.”

Jordan: “You mean, as ethnic groups assimilated over time, did political parties become defacto ethnic groups, substituting for the ethnic tribes?”

JC: “And shouldn’t we also ask if one or both political parties forced assimilation…or at least accelerated assimilation?”

IndianGreenie: “Interesting question — to what extent was assimilation forced? We know from Wolf Man Native Americans were forced to give up native culture. What’s worse is even though much of the culture is gone today, many native tribes never assimilated. The culture disappeared and the Indians have nothing to show for it. Not a good combination.”

JC: “What about forced assimilation of other ethnic groups? Did Democrats or Republicans or both parties effectively force assimilation? Jordan, you’ve been quiet so far. Whadda you think?”

1960s Equal RightsJordan: “I’d say yes, the parties did force assimilation. Let’s start with recent history. The fourth US Revolution, aka Cultural Revolution, took place in 1960’s, early 1970’s. During that period Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and some other anti-discrimination laws. Plus, the courts started to force compliance with Brown vs. Board of Education. The question for Greenie’s articles, ‘did those laws somehow force assimilation’?”

Greenie: “If I remember history correctly, the votes for most of the civil-rights-related legislation were along philosophical lines and not party lines, correct?”

confederate-flag-steev-stamfordJordan: “Correct. The legislation had strong support among Republicans and Democrats…but only Republicans and Democrats from northern and western states. Southern Democrats and the then rare Southern Republicans were nearly unanimously opposed.”

Greenie: “So, if we look at the political ramifications of the civil-rights legislation, Southern Democrats who opposed the legislation migrated in mass to the Republican Party. During the migration, most of the southern Republicans who one might consider moderate were replaced. Some replaced by a Democrat and the balance by conservative Republicans.”

Dictionary2Jordan: “Parallel with the migration of southern Democrats to Republicans was creation of new a new definition for the word ‘conservative’. So-called conservative Republicans were not really conservatives, either by the dictionary definition or by the traditional political definition.”

JC: “If not conservative, then how would you label them?”

Jordan: “Radical, as in Radical Republicans. The approach the Republicans took during the Obama Administration, then with Trump and right up to the Revenge Revolution…was the antithesis of what was defined as conservative governance. The Radical Republicans disregarded conserving the environment, disregarded conserving citizens’ 50_cal_rifle_by_bebop953rights, except of course, the right for even the mentally ill to own a 50-calibre assault weapon, and disregarded fiscal conservatism.  Reagan, Bush 43 and Trump all proposed legislation that resulted in huge deficits.”

Greenie: “I’m going to turn the tables about who’s calling the kettle black. Aren’t you being a bit radical? Many of us didn’t like the Republicans’ policies but why do you think they were radical?”

US Debt Percent GDPJordan: “We can go through the details if you  want.  I think one of the best indicators why I labeled Republicans radical is debt as a percent of GDP.  I carry this chart around to remind my Republican colleagues that Reagan and Bush were not really fiscal conservatives.”

JC: “I thought Trump was even worse.”

Jordan: ” He was and I need to update this chart for the Trump tax giveaway.  Just look at the line turn up under Reagan and again under Bush 43. And, oops, the line comes down under Clinton. This chart disputes Republicans claims about trickle-down economics…really voodoo economics.”

PoliceGreenie: “Don’t you think just as important was how Republicans behaved? During the Obama Administration, Republicans bragged about blocking every effort by Obama to govern, no matter what the issue. The net effect of Republicans was a negative effect on growing societal wealth, not positive.”

JC: “Under Trump the GOP rightfully earned a reputation for selling their souls. The Trump craziness, which the Republicans enabled, was to try to break everything that worked. If something needed fixing, smash it rather than trying to repair it. Throw what worked out regardless of the consequences.”

Trump KingGreenie: “Maybe the baby got thrown out with the bath water because Republicans either didn’t understand what they were doing…gee, that seems rhetorical…or had no kahunas to stand up to King Donald…or both. But how did actions by Trump and the kahuna-less Republicans affect assimilation? Was assimilation affected positively or negatively?”

Jordan: “Trump’s focus on targeting immigrants from non-Western European countries forced many immigrants, even those who’d been in the US a long time legally or were citizens, either to assimilate quickly or hide. So, I’d say Trump’s actions accelerated forced assimilation.”

JC: “Least we not forget Trumps’ endorsement of hate groups. Nothing like the president supporting actions by the alt-right. I really appreciated the resurgence anti-Semitism. Thanks a lot Donald.”

Swastika Ballantyne 2017

Jordan: “A neighbor of ours had a swastika painted on their garage door. Look, I agree that Trump’s behavior was way over the top. But Trump didn’t start this behavior. Trump was a product of the post-Reagan Republican party.”

Greenie: “If we go back and analyze the effects of the anti-discrimination laws passed in the 1960’s, these laws seemed to reduce discrimination. Let me correct myself, these laws seemed to reduce overt discrimination…for a while anyway. Then along came Reagan and his claim of some Reaganwelfare queen driving a new Cadillac…unproven, of course…and his constant harping that government was the problem and not the solution. Dear Ronnie’s rhetoric caused an uptick in discrimination. Discrimination seemed to bounce along until Trump opened the floodgates. I still shake my head over his remarks about Charlottesville.”

Jordan: “Another change was enforcement of Federal anti-discrimination laws. When Department of Justice was a real enforcement agency, the states complied with the laws. At the same time certain states became experts in a new kind of discrimination…gerrymandering. Gerrymandering was designed to give one political party control of state legislatures.”

JC: “Jordan, you know Republicans will counter and claim by stating the state reps were elected fairly. C’mon, now be nice.”

1 1 3Greenie: “If the elections were fair, then why were there states, including Jordan’s home state of NC, where somehow the total number of votes favored Democrats…and sometimes overwhelmingly…yet the Republicans managed to control the state House and Senate, occasionally with veto-proof margins. That math doesn’t work, unless of course, districts are gerrymandered.”

TurtleneckJordan: “Please, my home state is not North Carolina.”

Greenie: “I know, but I like to pick on you.”

JC: “Those ‘gerrymandered’ legislators then enacted all kinds of restrictions on voting. For many southern states, the restrictions became a modern-day poll tax. All the restrictions were implemented under the guise of preventing voter fraud…even though no valid evidence of fraud was ever presented.”

Supreme CourtGreenie: “While we’re talking about legal discrimination, let’s not forget the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the case about the wedding cake. A bakery owner in Colorado claimed religious rights allowed him to discriminate against gays…and I suppose anyone else he didn’t like. Just by taking the case, SCOTUS showed how far the hard right had infiltrated every branch of government – Executive, Legislative and Judicial. I must hand it to Republicans, they did a masterful job of implementing a hard-right, white Christian agenda. Anyone who didn’t fit their profile was SOL. The approach worked until Trump got too out of control. At that point, many people who thought they were in the Republican circle found themselves on the outside…and screwed.”

ScrewedJC: “You mean outside on who really got the tax breaks. Outside when Trump stated that voters in Alabama should support a pedophile so Trump could be assured of a majority in the Senate? You mean outside when they realized Republicans in Congress were going to pay for the tax giveaway to the wealthy by cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits of everyone else? You mean when Trump supporters realized Trump gave oil-and-gas companies and mining companies carte blanche approval to basically destroy public land and keep all the profits? You want me to keep going?”

Greenie: “I’ve got more than enough info for the articles. If we address the basic question, then yes as ethnic groups assimilated, political parties became defacto tribes, replacing ethnic groups. What also got left behind in the assimilation was the core identity of the ethnic groups. What also seemed to occur is forced assimilation accelerated under Reagan and reach a pinnacle around Trump, when covert actions of the Federal government strongly discouraged maintaining separate cultural identity.”

Greektown DTWJordan: “I’m hopeful that the Revenge Revolution ends the Trump vision and encourages members of ethnic groups to…what would you call that…dis-assimilate. Whatever the right term, I hope ethnic groups begin clustering again. Remember places that used to be known by their cultural heritage – Little Italy, Chinatown, Greektown? Somehow we’ve got to keep working to reduce discrimination and to encourage people to display their cultural heritage. Am I crazy to suggest that?”

Greenie: “No crazier than usual.  Now we need to get out of here so I can start writing.”