Monday, August 1, 2016

Taking Back Real America

I used to take a great deal of pleasure in Sarah Palin's appeal to "Real America" since her definition--white, rural--would consign the Republicans to losing national elections.  But this election cycle, with Trump's appeals to a narrow slice of the country and with newspaper reports about polls criticizing Hillary Clinton for doing poorly among white males, I have to just say something:

Real America is not white males but those who tolerate and celebrate diversity--of races, of religions, of gender, of sexuality and sexual identity, of ethnicity, of where one was born, etc.  The America always celebrated in the history books, often glossing over real problems, is a heterogeneous America.  The founders, for all their sins, created a founding document that was not aimed at any one religious group, but at providing freedom for all to practice their religion (or not practice), to speak and assemble (protest), to publish (that free press thing seems to be mighty relevant these days), and on and on. 

Real America is about accepting the differences.  The folks who most energetically support Trump are not real America.  America First is actually a betrayal of what the US stands for now, and is tied to Nazi sympathizers of the past.  Trump's fans include white supremacists, and while racial discord is built into American history, white supremacy is not something that most American see as an American value.   Real Americans don't sell out allies to autocrats either.  Trump's Putin-love is really quite problematic for most Americans.  The far left and the far right might admire Putin for his America-hating, but that, of course, makes them lousy Americans.

I am not asking for a House Un-American Activities Committee.  My basic point is that Trump is Un-American, that the concern about Hillary Clinton's relative weakness with white males (especially those without a college degree) are missing the key point.  Trump is doing awfully among African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, I am guessing Native Americans (I have seen no polls), a big gender gap as women apparently are not fans of misogyny, and on and on. 

Whose poll weaknesses are more telling and more deserving of attention and scorn?  The United States is a diverse place, and if you cannot appeal beyond a single demographic, then you are the one who is not appealing to Real America.

So, yes, I am taking back Real America--it applies to the multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-national, multi-gender, multi-sexual identity, multi-sexuality constituency that finds one person and one party appealing and the other not at all. 

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