Jackson, On a day when many Americans will vote

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JC
Once a conflicted and ultimately rejected president of the United States, Jimmy Carter went on to be the greatest of American Sunday school teachers — a vocation that merits greater respect these days.

On a day when Democrats should be voting in several states…

by Eric Jackson

The news has been repeatedly slamming the faces of Americans into the pavement. Actually, not just Americans. Among Americans, not just those in the USA. Among Democrats, perhaps a confirmation of some of our beliefs but also evidence of the breach of them in our midst. We are given pause for uncomfortable introspection, in the quaint and now sort of disreputable academic phrase of yesteryear, “values clarification.”

In Virginia, a centrist Democratic lieutenant governor, a physician from a patrician family who won a primary against a progressive and has brought in the Clintons and much of that crowd for his general election race, started by centering his campaign on improving the state’s schools and protecting and extending people’s access to health care. The Republican, Ed Gillespie, has been making his bid by talking about race and about guns.

So, you Northern Virginia voters of Afro-Panamanian roots, what do you think about THAT? Did anyone teach you enough state history to know about the “patterollers” and their relationship to the Second Amendment? These were the state militia, generally deployed in organized groups of three to six white men, whose main job was to keep blacks off of the roads to prevent runaways or the organization of slave revolts. All free white men of military age were expected to participate or to hire someone to take their place. The institution made Quakers unpopular, and in some states illegal. Patrick Henry railed against the Constitution that came out of the Philadelphia convention because it did not protect the right of white people in states like Virginia to bear arms, and this is the purpose to which he referred. So if you self-identify as a black person, what do you think about another Virginia campaign about guns?

But then, Virginia has too many African-American voters for the Republicans to want to rile them all up so that they appear at the polls today, so the folks to whom they point as reason for the fine white citizens to be armed and ready to kill somebody are immigrants from Latin America. Salvadoran gangsters are the tatted-up poster boys, but there aren’t enough of them and they haven’t caused enough trouble in the state to justify all of the many costs of a general ethnic cleansing. But there you have it: today’s Republicans aren’t talking about arresting a few lawbreakers, they’re talking about a roundup of all immigrants and a lot of them, with their talk about “anchor babies,” do not distinguish among immigrants and the US-born children of immigrants. And people like that have never been able to distinguish among Salvadorans, Mexicans, Panamanians and other Latin Americans, let alone among individuals of those descriptions. So if you identify as Hispanic, what do you think about THAT?

We get a massacre of white people at a small town Baptist church in Texas to add a somber note to this election day. In the hours when that awful story was breaking, the comments below the mainstream media reports — comments sections that generally do nothing to exclude pseudonymous Nazi trolls and Russian bots posing as such — blame was immediately cast upon black people, and on Muslims. As details emerged, the white guy who did it was cast in outright libelous reports as an anti-fascist anarchist (antifa) and the Texas attorney general called for all religious congregations to be armed. Further details muddied those stereotypes. An armed member of the congregation did give chase, and did shoot the criminal — but not before 26 innocent people were killed. The criminal? A sexist terrorist, who had beaten his ex-wife and broken the skull of her young son by a prior relationship, and whose mission that day included revenge on her family that took the life of her grandmother.

Wait a minute. “Sexist terrorist?” Isn’t that ruled out by definition of anti-terrorist laws that generally require opposition to some government or intimidation of some defined ethnic or faith group in a society? But in the USA, those laws were for the most part written by men and reflect that reality.

Do you want to know terror? Have a gun pointed at you in the context of domestic violence. I know. Statistically, forget about that stuff about a hero driving off an intruder with a gun — homicides and suicides within the household are what firearms deaths within American society are mostly about.

(And the Republican gun nuts who dismiss the suicide statistics as irrelevant? None of them are ever heard to champion the right of a patient who is suffering the pain of a terminal illness to end his or her life.)

So should Democrats feel superior? She we define THEM as the party of horrific abuse against women, and US as the enlightened people? Almost all of us adult male Democrats can take a hard look within and know that this has not been our personal history. And then there is that champion of the “donor base” — to which the DNC gives preference over the rank-and-file these days — Harvey Weinstein. He’s been in the news a lot, too. Not only for his abuse of power against women, but now for his hiring of Israeli mercenaries to terrorize those who would speak out against it.

And Americans living abroad — have we fled from all that? I see where Mexico just arrested a gringo cult leader for multiple counts of murder. I have seen American sexual predators, including convicted ones, coming to Panama in search of submissive women and children. Wild Bill was an active white supremacist up there before bringing his crime wave here. We get all sorts of wannabe armed cultists and “sovereign citizens” coming here from the USA, and Panamanian authorities, warned many times, seem oblivious. Or is it that they have been paid to be oblivious?

So Virginia and New Jersey vote today, as do a lot of other Americans in local or special elections. Who’s moral? Who’s the majority? Imperfect people need to look within, and find that sense of decency, and vote accordingly. It does matter.

 

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