Twilight of the White Establishment?

Bill O’Reilly was pissed last night, blaming President Obama’s reelection on the old and tired chestnut that the poorer half of the voting public is parasitic on the richer half, and so voted for the guy promising the most free goodies. It was an ugly performance; a display of bitter racial resentment. He also bemoaned the decline of white domination–most specifically, white male domination–over the country’s politics.

But don’t call Bill O’Reilly a sexist or a racist.

__________

The repudiation of Bill O’Reilly’s (and Mitt Romney’s) brand of resentment politics last night was life affirming. And did you see that diverse and wonderful crowd of Obama supporters in Chicago waving American flags?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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8 Responses to Twilight of the White Establishment?

  1. Staffan says:

    More like twilight of America. Do you really think a European style welfare state is the solution? We have economical chaos, growing corruption and tension between various groups in society.

    And this “white resentment”, isn’t the phenomenon white self-hate on your behalf? It’s reasonable to want to keep what you’ve worked hard for rather than finance some entitlement program. It’s reasonable to do the opposite too depending on you view of society – but it’s not white resentment. It seems like Asians and Jews are becoming more Republican, so will you introduce the concept of Asian and Jewish resentment too? No I don’t think so.

    One day you may see that those you call Herderians were right: a country is built on a tribe. America was built on white Christians and was the envy of the world until the 1960s when introduced diversity instead. It’s been downhill ever since. Now people look at America like they look at some weirdo on a reality show.

    For what it’s worth I think Obama means well, but he is the nail in the coffin. Those pesky resentful whiteys that you love to put down are going to give up or move abroad along with many Asians and Jews too. If you think that would never happen just think about who built America in the first place – resentful white people who left everything to get away from the oppression in Europe.

    • adambnoel says:

      What you talk about reminds of Spengler’s concept of race as being the roots of a people not the skin color, ethnicity and such. America was not built on white Christians as much as it was built on people of European descent who had a shared cultural identity. Multiculturalism is a failure because it fails to understand that a shared cultural identity is what allows a nation to succeed.

      If Americans want to save America (which I’m convinced is impossible… the cultural divide is too great in the nation) then they should embrace each other as the next common culture. Terms like African American, Hispanic and White American just serve to divide the world further. America will remain in decline if it calls itself a nation of White Christians amongst different groups. The Balkinization runs too deep now. The cultural decay has set in and the unity of America is destroyed. All that’s left now is the long decline.

      Martin Luther King Jr never would have wanted such a thing. He was an American first… an African American second. He loved his home, wanted to be part of it and wanted it to succeed. He dreamt of a day where we never discussed skin colour… 50 years later it is the same. The civil rights movement failed due to white guilt.

      • Staffan says:

        I don’t think it’s possible to sort out the nature and nurture of identity because they tend to go together. It’s hard to for instance imagine the introversion shown by East Asians as a purely cultural construct.

        The decline could go faster than you imagine. People can relocate easily these days and do so all the time. And you may see a completely different political landscape when things really begin to go south. A split in different autonomous parts with a shared foreign policy or some similar arrangement is not unlikely.

        White guilt, yes. I’ve always wondered where it comes from and what purpose it serves. And why is it only white (and Jewish)?

  2. Alan says:

    Methinks the rumors of America’s demise are premature.
    America made a very deliberate choice, once it had the power to do so following WWII, to change the nature of competition throughout the world from primarily militaristic to primarily commercial. It then distributed billions of dollars and highly advanced industrial technology such that nations across the world were really positioned to compete. Ours is much less a position the world put us in than one we put the world in. Feudalism is dead, colonialism is dead but to keep them dead is an evolving effort. Special privileges for the 1% do not play well into this plan.
    It is the massive payouts/bailouts to the rich that are hurting America, not our charity to the poor, injured or retired.

    • Staffan says:

      The very idea that taxing someone and giving that money to someone else can even be construed as charity explains a lot of the white resentment.

      And the changing demographics that the liberals are so enthusiastic about only mean that you have less and less money to feed more and more people. At some point that bubble is going to burst and there’s going to be a lot of poverty, anger and frustration.

      • Alan says:

        This violent agreement is becoming typical between us – and yes, I agree with much of your above observations. Trouble being this Regan/Bush taxpayer funded wealth transfer to the rich is accelerating and exacerbating the problem. The Neocon plan is to race away from a solution while enriching themselves and a large troop of angry whites have bought into their own destruction, supporting those taking advantage of them.
        Charity, quite frankly, is something civilized individuals must pay for. We have among us on this planet remnants of human communities without a strong tradition of charity – we call them hunter-gatherers. They also have a nominal 30% infanticide rate and their old or enfeeble are left along the trail to die. I for one do not aspire a return of that tradition. That said, you must be a bit smart about it and you must continue to motivate your population to be productive – the Greece model is clearly broken.
        Any state that is to flourish in this coming age of global competition must begin training and elevating leaders who will inspire and motivate their population to productivity.

  3. concerned christian says:

    Forget O’ Reilly, here’s what a wise man said many years ago
    Toynbee argued that “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.”

    Toynbee presented history as the rise and fall of civilizations, rather than the history of nation-states or of ethnic groups. He identified his civilizations according to cultural or religious rather than national criteria. Thus, the “Western Civilization”, comprising all the nations that have existed in Western Europe since the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, was treated as a whole, and distinguished from both the “Orthodox” civilization of Russia and the Balkans, and from the Greco-Roman civilization that preceded it.

    With the civilizations as units identified, he presented the history of each in terms of challenge-and-response. Civilizations arose in response to some set of challenges of extreme difficulty, when “creative minorities” devised solutions that reoriented their entire society. Challenges and responses were physical, as when the Sumerians exploited the intractable swamps of southern Iraq by organizing the Neolithic inhabitants into a society capable of carrying out large-scale irrigation projects; or social, as when the Catholic Church resolved the chaos of post-Roman Europe by enrolling the new Germanic kingdoms in a single religious community. When a civilization responds to challenges, it grows. Civilizations declined when their leaders stopped responding creatively, and the civilizations then sank owing to nationalism, militarism, and the tyranny of a despotic minority. Toynbee argued that “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.” For Toynbee, civilizations were not intangible or unalterable machines but a network of social relationships within the border and therefore subject to both wise and unwise decisions they made.
    Excerpts from
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_J._Toynbee

  4. concerned christian says:

    Santi, BTW if you spend more time watching O’ Reilly and less time watching Chris Matthew, you may have a better understanding of what is happening today in America.

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