July 19, 2015

"Restoring America's greatness" = Disneyesque dream

Those Who Advocate "Restoring America's Greatness" Are Living in a Mythology

By Mark KarlinThe United States has been, for years, on the cusp of either returning to the fantasy of a privileged elite or moving forward to achieve the creative possibilities of an actualized democracy.

Those politicians and individuals who advocate "restoring America to its greatness" are living in a Disneyesque dream, guided by the image of a Norman Rockwell portrait of a white-ruled United States that is the "greatest nation in the world." The underlying message here--which helps explain Donald Trump's appeal to an overtly racist sector of the population--is that only the continuation of white dominance in the electoral process can "save" the country. It is a vision of the United States that looks backward through a fractured, distorted lens.

The late Eduardo Galeano wrote about the European-descended ruling class at the end of the last century. He focused on South and Central America, but what he wrote in his brilliant book Open Veins of Latin America equally applies to the US:Veneration for the past has always seemed to me reactionary. The right chooses to talk about the past because it prefers dead people.... The powerful who legitimatize their privileges by heredity cultivate nostalgia. History is studied as if we were visiting a museum, but this collection of mummies is a swindle. They lie to us about the past: they mask the face of reality. They force the oppressed victims to absorb an alien, desiccated, sterile memory fabricated by the oppressor, so that they will resign themselves to a life that isn't theirs as if it were the only one possible.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Confederate Flag Must Go and Rubio Ignorant of US History.

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