Monday, November 19, 2012

"Lincoln", and Right Wing Delusion

I don't normally post my personal activities on-line, whether it's on Twitter or in this blog. First off, they're really none of your business. Secondly, I really don't think I'm that interesting. That being said, I feel compelled to make some observations regarding the movie "Lincoln" which I had the pleasure of seeing this weekend, and ignorant crazy stupid of the Right-Wing. Usually before giving my opinion of a movie, I like to let it stew in my brain for a day or two so I can give a truly thought out assessment. Now that I've had the time, I've come to the conclusion that when it comes to Lincoln, and his Republican Party, the Right Wing actually has it right...they're just too stupid to realize it.

To start off, if there is one movie you should actually go out of your way to see this Thanksgiving weekend, this is it. Not only does it tell a compelling story of one of our nation's greatest presidents and the passage of the most revered amendment in the Constitution (the 13th), it is well acted and worthy of the Oscar buzz we're already seeing. There's also the added argument for how liberal policies made this country the great nation that it is for all people, despite the fact (or even because of it) that Democrats are actually the "bad guys" in this film. In any discussion about race, the Right loves to try and redeem itself to the Left and to the nation in general by pointing out that the Republican Party was the party of anti-slavery. That Democrats were pro-slavery and it was southern Democrats who precipitated the Civil-War. The often try to stretch this claim into the Democratic Party being founders of the Ku Klux Klan. However suspect that last point may be, they were right on the first two. Lincoln's Republican Party was the anti-slavery party while the Democrats in the union during the civil war fought tirelessly to maintain the status quo. In fact, up until the signing of the Civil Rights law, it was southern Democrats, not Republicans, who fought to keep Jim Crow segregation in place and to keep Blacks from voting. It was only after that legislation was signed into law (by a Democratic president, by the way) that the ideological shift occurred that drove racist Whites out of the Democratic Party and into the Republican Party, and vice versa.

As I said, the Right Wing loves to point this out, and they're actually right for doing so, for it rightly points out that the Republicans didn't always attract the crazies of the country, nor were they always racist (and aren't all racist now). However, here's where they get it so totally wrong. For starters, they confuse ideology with party. Just because someone is a Republican doesn't automatically mean they are conservative, any more than one should assume Democrats are all liberal. Second, they seem to be blissfully ignorant of the fact that the last redeemable thing their party has done for the country occurred over a century ago, and today's Republican Party would be totally unrecognizable by those Republicans. They also fail to realize that by constantly reminding the country of the Democrats racist past, they're tacitly admitting to the racism of their own party today.

But probably most damning of all for the Right Wing is this. In their desperation to convince themselves and the rest of the country that they're not the racist bigots we all think they are, the Right Wing, without even realizing it, openly admits to there being a time in our nation's history when Republicans were actually MORE liberal than Democrats. So the question the Right needs to ask itself when it comes to race and their need for self-redemption is quite simply, "Do we really want to have this argument?"