‘Each era has the fatal hubris to believe that it has once and for all climbed to the top of the mountain and can see everything as it is, from the highest and most objective vantage point possible.” – Eric Metaxas
The Civil War has always been an interesting topic for this Northern transplant, raised in the South and settled out West. My parents were from Ohio and Pennsylvania but moved to Florida and Georgia where I was born and raised respectively. A few years ago I got into genealogy and traced some of my New York roots to my fourth great uncle George, who as a 23 yr old man was captured by the Confederacy in Spotsylvania Virginia, then fell ill and perished in Libby Prison in Richmond. Some people get very emotionally attached to their historical roots and as a result, identify largely with them. You may know these types who want to argue the impetus of the war or reclaim the symbolism or meaning behind the Confederate flag or any other number of silly arguments. I suppose if I identified with my past from generations gone by, I should seek retribution for familial casualties in our great domestic conflict? For me, I look back on our history with both remorse and reverence. What a tragedy to befall our nation!
I fashion myself a patriotic American. Since our national boundaries have been re-established for at least 150 years and I stake no claim to regional allegiance, American is more than sufficient a title. Still, I can sympathize with those who’ve been caricatured due to no fault of their own. Last year I read an editorial by E. M. Cadwaladr, titled ‘We Are All Southerners Now’. The premise of this piece is that the author is raised just north of the Mason Dixon line in Ohio and taught to look down on those below it, both by the greater culture and within his own home. Having come to support the policies of Donald Trump and thus become the target of elitist revulsion, the author comes to understand and identify with those he was raised to look down upon. This piece eloquently expresses the sentiments of many who have been cast into the leftist’s “basket of deplorables.”
If you are a student of history, you may already be well aware of terms like Reconstruction and Carpetbaggers. Following the American Civil War, the victorious Union states set out to remake the defeated Confederacy in their own image. The slave-dependent agrarian society was now dependent on the industrialized Union for its reconstruction. Much of the South developed resentment toward their northern counterparts who often took advantage of their depleted state for personal and financial gain. They became known as Carpetbaggers and would be the equivalent of today’s price-gougers, who buy up all of the generators after a natural catastrophe and sell them at exorbitant markups to a desperate populace. And today, we see the fruits of a neo-reconstruction. This new reconstruction involves not only physically remaking localities in the image of blue America, but also developing homogeneity of its ideas.
Having grown up in Metro-Atlanta, I had a front-row ticket.. okay back row ticket to Olympic sporting events at the 1996 Olympic Games. Specifically, it was a single baseball game between Nicaragua and S. Korea? But I did have a front-row ticket to the evolution of Metro-Atlanta preceding and succeeding the Olympics. Accommodating that many global tourists and events required a tremendous amount of infrastructure improvements. The solution for the City of Atlanta was the gentrification of Atlanta’s low-income neighborhoods such as Techwood and to displace its inhabitants to the suburbs. For its part, the Federal Government stepped in and made suburbia accessible via section 8 housing, and the City worked to expand public transportation outside of the cities confines and into the suburbs. I remember my first encounter with the inner-city in the burbs when I house-sat for my father. I arrived on the front porch of his house to find his new drug-dealing neighbor’s rottweiler, Debo, had gotten off of its enormous chain and chased me into my father’s house. I called the sheriff’s office and then watched from his living room window as Debo proceeded to chase the deputy onto the hood of his patrol car before urinating on his tire.
In the 20 years since graduating high school, the community I grew up in flipped from solidly red, to solidly blue. It is now re-districted with South Atlanta and derives its representation from there. I went home for a college football game two years ago and I was saddened to see that the gas station across from my high school where we bought Coke and junk food after school now had bars on the windows, and had just recently suffered a murder in the parking lot. That same year my mother was awakened at 2 AM in her suburban home by a barefoot drug addict looking to score some cigarettes at her backdoor. And this is both a byproduct and the goal of this neo-reconstruction: to redistribute the problems and dependencies of blue America into its red counterparts, and as a result, forever enshrine blue electoral dominance.
This is the blueprint to ridding America of its basket of deplorables and replacing it with the superior ideology of progressive America. This is why in 2015 then-President Obama focused housing policy on setting multi-family housing construction quotas in suburban America in order to receive established section 8 funding. And this is why Joe Biden’s new infrastructure endeavor places a heavy emphasis on multi-family housing and public transportation. Give credit where it’s due, Democrats are exceptionally good at playing the long game. Given the lack of fight in Republican opposition, it may come to show that we’re already beyond a point of no return in this death spiral toward a colossal progressive state. Should this turn out to not be the case, then let this serve as a warning that it takes less than a generation.
“History is a vast early warning system.” – Norman Cousins