MAGA Golden Age and East Kentucky Fornicators

Court Session, 1781 Appalachia

Court Session, 1781 Appalachia


At the root of every desire to “Make America Great Again” is a misplaced belief in some golden, halcyon age, in which everyone was hard-working, decent, and God-fearing.

A belief that there was ORDER.

We mythologise the past, precisely because “golden ages” are such ephemeral, fleeting snapshots in time, and these gilded folk memories are what we want to see in ourselves when we look in the mirror.

Just as The Golden Age of Piracy lasted less than one lifetime, just as The Wild West lasted perhaps half that, the MAGA dreamworld lasted only 20 years – the time from the end of the Second World War, until Vietnam.

For this short, shimmering, hovering moment, to be “white” and American was a glorious thing.

World War Two and the D-Day landings had created real heroes.  And the grandfathers of these D-Day veterans were often men who had seen the tail end of the shamelessly glamorised Wild West.

The post-war 1950s economic boom had banished all memories of The Great Depression.

For a brief generation or two, any “white man” with a high school education could expect to find a job paying enough to buy a house and raise a family (with a stay-at-home housewife, cook, cleaner, and mother).

Hollywood ceaselessly celebrated this patriarchal paradise in film.

Almost every role model or hero was a tall, white, Christian male.  See James StewartBurt LancasterGary CooperJohn Wayne.

Television was an anodyne confection of “The Lawrence Welk Show“, “Leave It To Beaver“, or “The Andy Griffith Show” (non-Boomers, please Google).

But this fuzzy-lens world was only possible if “white” male society plugged its ears and went “la la la” to the background noise of Black America demanding civil rights, of Female America demanding the right to be more than cooks and cleaners and child-bearers, of Young America kicking-back against shallow consumerism, environmental destruction, and moral hypocrisy.

This could easily be dismissed as some “woke” rant, except for one thing.

Good history, and a good understanding of history, taking a LONG VIEW, tells us just how ridiculous our image of ourselves can often be.

Our “pioneer forefathers”, and indeed, mothers, were almost never the shining white exemplars of unblemished virtue we would like to imagine.

Not to say there were no good people.  There were.

But whether decent, bad, or a mix of the two, most Americans are hewn from very rough stock.  And very mixed stock.

Many early colonisers of indigenous lands – aka “the frontier” – took a very casual view toward sex and marriage in the absence of established churches or “men of the cloth”.  Men and women alike.

Yet to hear the MAGA version of history, single mothers, absentee fathers, substance abuse, disregard for the rule of law, and general social dysfunction have always been the province of ethnic minorities.

To “Make America Great Again” in the way intended by many “white” evangelicals today would require some serious editing of the past, and the purchase of some deeply rose-tinted glasses.

And it seems that many these days are willing to do precisely that…

#maga #fakehistory #beforewewerewhite

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