Our columnist Boyd Clack examines events in the United States of America today, where Doug Jones was the first Democrat in 25 years in Alabama to win the race for the Senate, beating a Republican who was accused of assaulting teenage girls.
America entered the Second World War more than two years after it started. Until that time there was as strong a force of public opinion towards joining on the German side as there was on joining the allies.
President Roosevelt was an Anglophile but in order to get elected he had to promise to keep America out of ‘Europe’s war.’ He did what he could to help, short of actually fighting on our side. The Nazi movement in America was much more influential and active than the pre-war Mosleyite movement in the UK.
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, America declared itself to be in a state of war against Japan, but even then, it didn’t declare war on Germany, Japan’s ally. In fact America never did so and never would have done, preferring to limit their war to Japan in the Pacific arena.
The only reason they joined in the war against the Nazis was that Hitler declared war on THEM. Even then, German Americans were not interned, like the obviously racially-different Japanese.
German and Italian immigrants had populated most of America, in the cities and the farmland states, so they were left.
I write this to point out that there has always been a strong extreme right wing element to the American national character.
I think it has to do with its historic idealisation of ‘the frontier spirit’, essentially a rugged individualism and a consequential distrust of collective responsibility. ‘Never give a sucker an even break’ as the old American saying goes.
This is seen as toughness, and Americans regard toughness as next to Godliness. Indeed their God is not the New Testament God of love and human kindness, but the Old Testament fire and brimstone God of vengeance.
Their religion is without the girly bits. Ironically it is the religion of Darwinism, survival of the fittest (or in this case the fattest).
The US history is of slavery, the brutal treatment of the native Americans, the Chinese and their present embracing of strongly racist political groups. They all fit snugly with extreme right wing ideologies.
There is a thick seam of brutal, faux religious, militaristic narcisism in American society and it cuts across the wealth and class divide.
Now why am I saying this? Well, the thankful Senate election result seems a good time.
The traditional ‘South’ has been a breeding ground for racism and social violence for centuries; since the Civil War in fact.
The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and the Alabama police force were murdering, whipping, burning and torturing black people and white sympathisers quite openly in the 1960’s when I was in my teens.
Apartheid existed in the Southern states and blacks were treated like animals – the ‘Church’ condoned it using the Bible not only to justify it, but to preach that ‘God’ was pleased about it.
So, to come to the point (sorry to be so long winded by the way) the election in Alabama puts everything in focus.
The Democrat is no doubt an ineffective waste of space, as indeed are all Democrat politicians, but the Republican candidate is a man accused of being a paedophile.
He had been thrown out of their legal establishment twice for being a politically-motivated extremist, and is reviled by his own party. Just think of that – The Republican Party, as immoral, uncaring, grasping and evil an organisation as has ever existed in history, a party without an honest or decent bone in its collective body, has disowned this creature.
Yet he was the Republican choice to represent the state of Alabama in the US Senate and was even at one point favourite to win.
Trump loves him like a brother. Read his tweet eulogising him. Trump thinks he’s a fine, decent, good man.
My point is that this is not a mutation of American politics, it is an honest reflection of some American public opinion exercised by some ordinary American citizens of Alabama.
This is where America is at in 2017 and in truth it has always been the direction of travel.
Europe too is on the crest of a fascist wave.
It is the future … a boot grinding into a face for eternity.