Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has made comments some feel are racist.
Some are suggesting Senator Reid should resign as Majority Leader as did Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi when he made comments that were in fact racist.
What is the difference between Senator Reid and Senator Lott?
The difference is that Senator Reid is a moderately progressive man who has spent much of the last year trying to expand health coverage to millions of American not currently covered.
In contrast, Senator Lott was elected by unreconstructed Mississippi Republicans in order to help the rich at the expense of the poor.
The Republican Party in the South came to dominate that region by making scapegoats of black people.
The comments that got Senator Lott in trouble were in defense of Apartheid Jim Crow Senator and 1948 segregationist Presidential candidate Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.
( Picture above—Strom Thurmond with Ronald Reagan.)
Senator Thurmond was a monster who dedicated years of effort to making sure that black people would lead lousy lives.
Senator Reid was an early supporter of Barack Obama who made a dumb comment.
Senator Lott is someone who in 2002 said it would have been best if a vicious racist had been elected President in 1948.
Here is what Senator Lott said—“I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either…”
These are the differences between Harry Reid and Trent Lott.
No Segment Of The Population Is Inherently More Or Less Virtuous Than Any Other Segment Of The Population
I’ve started to read the book “The Populist Persuasion–An American History” by Michael Kazin.
The book is a history of American populism. I’ve read only a few pages so far.
I hope this is a good book that is worth my time.
From the first page—”From the birth of the United States to the present day, images of conflict between the powerful and the powerless have run through our civic life….The haughty financier wraps chains of debt around the small farmer…the federal bureaucrat, overeducated and amoral, scoffs at the God-fearing nuclear family in its modest home…Such images…make up the language of populism…This language is used by whose who claim to speak for the vast majority of Americans who work hard and love their country. That is the most basic and telling definition of populism: A langauge whose speakers conceive of ordinary people as a noble assemblage..(and)..view their elite opponents as self-serving and undemocratic..”
As liberal as I am, I see no segment of the population as any more or less inherently noble or virtuous than any other segment of the population.
There is nothing inherently noble or dignified about poor people are about minorities who, to this day even in the time of Obama, remain targets of discrimination in our society.
Not all wealthy people are cheating poor and working class people.
Many people of all kinds are good and many people of all kinds are lousy.
Many people of all kinds are really not so interesting one way or another.
I don’t mean all this in a sunny way of “Let’s keep our minds open.”
While we should keep our minds open to the people we meet in life, life can be a dark affair.
A lot of people you would never expect and who should know better, will act in ways harmful to the best interest of our society.
I’m wary of those who claim to speak for the people.
The people are quite hard to generalize.
Their is no strain of inherent virtue or decency running through hard-working middle class Americans.
It is insulting to suggest otherwise.
People are individuals.