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David Brooks "It is Not Racism" NYTimes: A Comment

September 18, 2009
by Lawrence Gulotta

Park Slope Brooklyn
September 18th, 2009
3:36 pm
David Brooks writes a good column, today.

I noticed the main speakers and the 70,000+/- folks (Volks?) attending the Washington,DC March and Rally were largely from the southern States. All US regions may have been represented, but the southern States were the most heavily represented. Is this a fact?

Were the Tea Party protesters the new Jeffersonians/Jacksonians?
For sure, the Tea Party folks were rude, mostly lower middle class and militant in their politics. Is this neo-Jacksonian populism? Might it be that this “politically touchy” demonstration is simply a continuation of the South’s uneasy fit with the American National Character? Why is this “populism” and not a rejection of the 21st Century? Reactionary may be a more descriptive sociological term.

I love Mr. Brook’s comment that sociology is more important than running.

It was surrealistic to see protesters in colonial garb sporting seriously racist slogans making comparisons between our new President and Nazi totalitarians. Uber-patriotism may be a form of “populism” Jacksonian-style and it may also be a form of nationalistic xenophobia popularized by the John Birch Society, among others.

The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence belong to all Americans, no matter what their political orientation or the color of their skin. Our country’s Founding Documents stand for Freedom, Liberty and Equality. Yes, Equality! “All men are created equal,” says the Declaration of Independence.

The protesters believe that our President and the majority Democratic Party are disloyal Americans! This goes beyond rude and crude Jacksonianism, frontier self-reliance and extreme individualism.

That millions of Americans are suffering deeply from this recession is obvious. That unemployment turns your world up-side-down is plain to see. That 10.3% national unemployment can spark the birth of political extremism is troubling, indeed.

Why is this a 21st Century re-enactment of the Jeffersonian/Jacksonian
versus Hamiltonian divide in American politics? Isn’t modern America a synthesis of both tendencies. Perhaps a re-read of Herbert David Croley’s ” The Promise of American Life” is in order this weekend, Mr. Brooks.

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