Teri Kanefield @Teri_Kanefield Author, Lawyer (U.C. Berkeley) My threads are here: terikanefield-blog.com/ Bio here: terikanefield.com/about-me George Papadopoulos called me deluded Aug. 29, 2019 5 min read

(Thread) Two Views of American History

💠The reactionary view
💠The liberal view, as in⤵️

The liberal view of American history goes like this:

America started out with some good ideas, but unfortunately, they only applied to a small group: well-educated white men.

1/ The liberal view of American history goes like this:

America started out with some good ideas, but unfortunately, they only applied to a small group: well-educated white men.

Then, over 250 years—through the heroic efforts of great men and women like Susan B. Anthony . . .

2/ . . . Thurgood Marshall, MLK Jr, and others—“we the people” expanded to include more and more people.

The transition from the top image to the lower image was good thing, bringing us close to the ideal of liberal democracy.

3/ View #2: The Reactionary View, is the opposite.

According to this view, America, in 1789, was orderly and good with lots of personal liberty.

For reactionaries, 250 years of American history is the story of something being lost, something vital being taken away from them.

4/ The past was good. The frontier was wide open! If you wanted land, just grab it!

There weren't many laws, so people (white men) could do as they pleased.

Reactionary=forceful desire to return to the past.
 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/pops.12540 

MAGA signals reactionary politics.

5/ How do reactionaries reconcile white-male-rule with “we the people” and democracy?

They don't like democracy. They say things like⤵️

Through American history, they've argued that nature forms a hierarchy, and white men are naturally at the top . . .

6/ For example, John Calhoun, U.S. Vice President under Andrew Jackson, explained that slavery is a “positive good"
 https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/slavery-a-positive-good/ 

According to this view, since 1789 others have been encroaching on the personal liberty of white men, and upsetting the balance.

7/ Liberals see the New Deal as good: minimum wage, social security, the VA bill helped eliminate income inequality and created opportunity for all.

Reactionaries see such legislation as an evil encroachment on "personal liberty."

8/ Minimum wage, according to this view, infringes on the liberty of people to enter contracts. If a person is willing to work for a dollar an hour, that's none of the government's business.

Reactionaries have been trying to roll back the New Deal.

9/ They want to roll back all regulations and regulatory agencies put in place in the past 100 years.

When David Koch was the Libertarian Party 1980 vice presidential candidate, he advocated abolishing (among other things) the FBI, CIA, and IRS.  https://www.nytimes.com/1984/10/16/arts/man-without-a-candidate.html 

10/ The laws they dislike include laws against rape and sexual harassment.

Remember, during the Kavanaugh hearings, when Rep. Steve King said, if sexual assault is the new standard, “No man will ever qualify for the Supreme Court.”
 https://www.huffpost.com/entry/steve-king-brett-kavanaugh_n_5ba7a185e4b069d5f9d3d719?3w= 

11/ The general attitude before about 1970 was that men are natural aggressors. Men will be men. Rape is what they do.

That was what Trump meant in the Access Hollywood tape when he said he sees an attractive woman and just starts kissing her. He doesn’t wait. He just grabs.

12/ For much of world history, rape was a property crime.

An unmarried girl was her father’s property. A married woman was her husband’s property.

If a virgin was raped, the property damage was to her father.
If she was married, the damage was to her husband.

13/ If she wasn’t a virgin and wasn’t married, there was no crime because the property was already damaged.

A man couldn’t rape his wife (his own property) and rape of enslaved women wasn’t a crime. Even after the Civil War, rape of a black woman wasn't recognized.

14/ Brownmiller sent shockwaves in 1975 when, in Against Our Will, she argued that rape was not a natural result of human nature.

It was a means of exerting patriarchal power.

The Fox-Trump-GOP still has trouble with the fact that a woman’s word can bring down a man.

15/ It makes sense that the GOP is okay with rape, sexual harassment, money laundering, and defying the FBI.

They want to return to the days when white men could grab whatever they wanted.

@TimothyDSnyder explains why liberals are shocked by Trump.

16/ Liberals over the past few decades bought into a myth, which goes like this:

The future has been determined: America will continue becoming more inclusive and diverse.

History is a river carrying us along. We don't even have to row.
(the "Politics of Inevitability")

17/ What Snyder calls the Politics of Inevitability takes away responsibility because you don't even have to row! We're going somewhere good!

Oops. The future takes the shape it does because of what we do in the present.

Meanwhile, the reactionaries have been busy.

18/ While the liberals thought they were drifting downstream, reactionaries grabbed the helm and turned the boat around.

And here we are.

The boat is going backwards.

The good news: It can go forward again, if we all pitch in⤵️
 https://terikanefield-blog.com/things-to-do/ 

Adding this:
Another way of arguing the same idea:

Trump's history of lawbreaking illustrates the meaning of MAGA (particularly the word "again")

MAGA = Take us back to the days when white men could do as they pleased.

All of this illustrates the connection between sexual harassment and the NRA.

The NRA is a right wing reactionary group.

They don't like any laws or rules hampering what they can do. They break the laws they don't think should exist.
So they grab women.

I used to wonder the same thing.
When, exactly, was America great?

I thought before 1920.

Then I found a group of libertarians who give a different answer: 1789.

No kidding. Stand by for the link.

They call themselves "nullification libertarians" or Tenth Amendment Purists.

Whenever I tweet the word "libertarian" I get attacked by armies of trolls telling me I'm stupid.

I'm ready. Bring it on.

(I'm only discussing what's a real website)

All my threads are also blog posts. You can view this one here:  https://terikanefield-blog.com/two-views-of-american-history/ 

I'm also posting my Twitter-thread / blog posts to an author Facebook page (along with more news about my books) here:  https://www.facebook.com/terikanefieldauthor/ 

So much social media!


You can follow @Teri_Kanefield.



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