A single thread

There is a single thread that runs through the entirety of American history, right to this moment, and it's slavery. American slavery was created in Virgina early on, as a means to 1. Get cheap labor, of course (more on this), but also 2. Create a very effective divide and conquer tool. For you see, while slavery is pretty much as old as human civilization, racial slavery is an American (North to South) invention, and coupled with the plantation model (which is a riff on the European royalty and serfdom dynamic), it gave birth to just about every negative issue we as a country have faced, and face today. For, it pitted poor folks against poor folks and whenever that's the case, the rich laugh and laugh and bath in their money. "I may be a poor piece of white trash, but at least I ain't a nigger" pretty much sums it up, and this dynamic has been used by those in power to maintain and wield power since the Virginia Colony. It shaped all the founding American documents, including the Constitution, and was major factor in every election since. It shaped the number of states in the country, and the nature of the Senate/House. Slavery and the many related issues has shaped every major aspect of the USA. Obviously the Civil War was entirely about slavery (and the plantation system), but let us not lose sight of the post-Reconstruction implementation of Jim Crow laws across the South - divide and conquer, remember. Your life may suck, but it's better than "those" people's. Vote for me! Buford T. Richguy. Slavery was technically gone, but segregation worked ok. But then we as a country (let's be clear who the heroes of this tale are: Progressives) decided that was enough too, and the South let loose with:
Hop on board!
First day of school. Can you imagine walking in the front door to this:
Think how incredibly brave these kids were:
In the face of this:
"Honest", "Decent", "Hard Working" Americans.
Soak up these pictures, and try to imagine yourself living in those times, or any time earlier, as a black man, or as a poor white woman barely feeding her children. Look at the faces, and then look see here:
And know that these Teabaggers and Wingnuts and so called "Conservatives" are the direct descendents of the anti-busing racists of the 70's, and the anti-segregationists of the 60's and 50's, and the enforcers of the racist status quo in the years 1940 - 1670 or so. Poor white people fed steady diets of lies and hate until they well and truly internalize it, and live out the Master's wishes - and poor folk fight poor folk. Man fights man in the belief he's fighting "The Other", when it's really his own interests he's been fighting all along.
Make no mistake, the Tea Party is a wholly funded enterprise of wealthy Republicans - Freedomworks AKA the Kochs. Race is but one tool of the divide and conquer trade these days, but it still serves as the primary tool. But this - all of this, racism, slavery, serfdom - is but effect of the underlying cause: The powerful seeking to maintain their power. And this dynamic is as old as human society - kings and queens, popes and bishops, dictators and warlords, tycoons and oligarchs, it's all the same. The wealthy seek their own interests - which is getting even wealthier. They will employ whatever means available to their society/time in doing so. The only way the great majority of humanity can stand against them is to stand together. They know this far more than we do, so they divide and conquer, using race, religion, nationalism, tribalism, fear, hate, envy, all the base emotions to motivate people not to trust. Not to hope. And so it goes, from the first city, I assume. Before that, humanity was a species of literally dirty hippies living in drum circles.

Lest you think slavery is gone, by the way, think again - it's just been re-branded. It's called "Globalism". How resourceful! America has outsourced its slavery.
As long as a majority of voters are sufficiently sated/scared, the system continues. Until something breaks. Are we approaching some manner of break?

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