From The ‘What Did You Expect?’ File: Southern Whites Feel Increasingly Attacked

The disintegration of the Republican Party continues in earnest. While some of the damage is certainly due to persistent and reinvigorated attacks and activism from the left, much of the damage is self-inflicted. In fact, I would suggest nearly all of it appears from the outside as a slow motion political suicide. But, naturally, Americans who inexplicably fancy themselves as members of the “personal responsibility” party don’t seem to grasp the reality of their self-imposed annihilation.

In a new poll by Winthrop University, around half of all white southerners said they feel as if they’re under attack. According to the poll, “forty-six percent of white Southerners polled said they agree or strongly agree that white people are under attack in the U.S.” Aw, poor little snowflakes. Likewise, 30 percent said they think white European heritage needs to be preserved, and 40 percent want to keep their Confederate monuments.

The existence of Donald Trump in the White House is ultimately the consequence of a mass delusion, triggered by the conservative entertainment complex and Russian propaganda. 62 million voters were thoroughly snowed by Trump, a professional scam artist who, along with the aforementioned accomplices, convinced enough people that electing an incompetent reality show villain is the only way to extricate white people from an increasingly enlightened future.

They elected a man with a schoolyard bully’s brain, stunted and trapped in his pre-teen years, both temperamentally and intellectually. They elected a man who had no business running in the first place — a man who knows nothing about history, foreign policy, domestic affairs or, generally, the real world, nor is he ever interested in knowing more than whatever he might need to wiggle his way out of a situation, no matter how destructive (the Russian attack) or mundane (a statement about Frederick Douglass). They elected a president who’s perfectly comfortable attaching his name to a tweet as ridiculously childish as this: 

There’s another more concise way to phrase this message: “I know you are but what am I?” Seriously, how different would this administration be if the president were literally an 11-years-old dilettante? Not much different and possibly a little better given that children are far less likely than old men to be trapped in their own habits and preconceived notions.

These southern white people who think they’re under attack won’t stop defending Nazis, white supremacists, Confederates, traitors, molesters and pedophiles, either via their defense of Trump’s remarks in support of these kinds of people, or directly. They’re backstopping undisputed villains and yet they wonder why they’re routinely shouted down. 

They injected into the White House a man who’s destabilizing the world; who’s unnecessarily provoking a nuclear confrontation with North Korea; who’s convinced millions of gomers who require health insurance to support the repeal of their health insurance; and who, himself, confessed to sexual assault on videotape and who repulsively explained to a 10-year-old that he’d be dating her soon. 

They wrongly celebrated the election, believing that when Trump won, it’d spell the end of feminism, the end of Black Lives Matters, the end of the Obama era legacy. As we can see by today’s headlines, they were wrong. Progress is seldom reversed, and change is a permanent condition of a democratic society.   

And then, as if none of these facts existed, they’re acting like persecuted whiny diaper babies because the rest of the world is rightfully pushing back against the flailing, uncontrollable madness they’ve stupidly and impulsively unleashed into the world. So much for personal responsibility. 

The rest of us can clearly see it: this is what it looks like when the United States doesn’t have a true chief executive. Trump is nothing more than a steward of the Oval Office — a placeholder — a real life Denethor, haunted by his own inadequacies and possessed by dark forces he barely understands — a faker who has utterly failed to live up to the standards of a even a below-average president. He’s a pretender, a poseur bullshitting his way through daily events, existing in the eternal now without any regard for either history or the future. Indeed, the biggest enemy of the Trump administration is Trump himself, and he’s not even self aware enough to recognize that he routinely undermines his own status, telegraphing his guilt and routinely highlighting his ignorance in shocking view of the entire world.

If white southerners are sick of feeling persecuted, perhaps they should start to look inward rather than blaming the rest of us who see this era for the Dark Ride that it is. Perhaps they should reevaluate their standards, turn off Fox News and understand that the world is passing them by and nothing can reverse the march of time. But the diehard Trumpers will never see the truth of their misplaced loyalty. They won’t change. They’ll only be diminished by attrition and their posterity will have no choice but to absorb and mitigate their shame.   

Bob Cesca is the host of the Bob Cesca Show podcast, a twice weekly political talk show. He’s also a contributor to Salon.com. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.