Why am I tooting my own horn? Because last week I wrote a piece entitled “Poll: 38% of South Carolina Trump Supporters Want Slavery Back, and That’s Not All” about the fact that nearly 40% of South Carolina Trump supporters in one poll wished the Confederacy had won the Civil War. Oh boy did that story piss some people off, and not in the way I had expected. I thought that people would be pissed off about the fact that so many Trump supporters were Confederate sympathizers, but I forgot in this world we live in, some idiots have been convinced that the Civil War wasn’t really about slavery, so I wadded up a lot of panties by implying if you support the Confederacy you support slavery’s continued existence.
I’ll spare you reading the comments, but it was a lot of finger wagging for the presumption on my part that sympathizing with the Confederacy equates to sympathizing with slavery. But here’s where I get to blast my horn — I was completely and utterly vindicated by The New York Times. In a story published yesterday, The Times reported that the exit polling data I wrote about last week was backed up by a new poll conducted nationally.
According to P.P.P., 70 percent of Mr. Trump’s voters in South Carolina wish the Confederate battle flag were still flying on their statehouse grounds. (It was removed last summer less than a month after a mass shooting at a black church in Charleston.) The polling firm says that 38 percent of them wish the South had won the Civil War. Only a quarter of Mr. Rubio’s supporters share that wish, and even fewer of Mr. Kasich’s and Mr. Carson’s do.
Nationally, the YouGov data show a similar trend: Nearly 20 percent of Mr. Trump’s voters disagreed with the freeing of slaves in Southern states after the Civil War. Only 5 percent of Mr. Rubio’s voters share this view. (source)
Granted, the number dips a bit from 38% to 20%, but I will still rightfully crow about this until the cows come home. You cannot separate the cause of the South from the cause of slavery.
Well, you can, but you’re a historically inaccurate stooge if you do. You cannot find a path to the Civil War in this country if you strip slavery out from the outset. Yes, there have always been flare ups between federalists and anti-federalists, but if you thought the Civil War was about any state right other than the right of a state to allow black people to be owned like so much furniture, you need to get yourself to a library, pronto.
The New York Times story very clearly illustrates what the real subtext of the Trump campaign is. I’m still not completely convinced he’s not a plant, sent in by some Democratic operative to expose the Republican base for what it is, but whether he’s truly a horribly racist and xenophobic person or he just plays one one TV, the stakes couldn’t be higher, and the importance clearer to Americans who are voting this fall.
If Trump is on the ballot, he represents people who represent one of the darkest and most disgusting acts this country has perpetrated on a populace, ever.
We’ve talked a lot on this site about the need for Hillary and Bernie supporters to have their primary fight but keep in mind how important it is for anyone but a Republican to win. I know that sounds like we’re hedging. I know that sounds like we’re playing it both ways, and well, we are. At least I am. Why?
Because ideological purity doesn’t mean fuck-all when the guy in the Oval Office is picking Supreme Court Justices who will further erode our control over Corporate America, disenfranchise minorities, and repress the LGBTQ community, that’s why. It sucks that we live in a system where we can’t have the perfect candidate we want, but do you know what sucks more? Losing what little progress we’ve made in this country because good people sit at home to pout, misguidedly thinking they’re punishing only two parties, when they’re punishing the tens of millions of us who don’t want society to suck even more.
The takeaway here isn’t that I was right about my presumptions about Trump supporters and slavery — the fucking Klan members at his rallies are evidence of that. It’s that I was right and if enough people do the wrong thing and sit out this November, the racists will win.
Don’t let racists win, America. Please.