Letter 2 America for January 4, 2024

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Dear America,

It is remarkable how obtuse American news media are at times.  Their lack of perspicacity seems almost intentional by virtue of what they miss and what they mischaracterize.  Nikky Haley, when asked what the American Civil War was about initially left out slavery as a cause, though as an afterthought she amended her omission by saying that, of course the civil war was about slavery though the war's precipitating inspiration was a determination of what the role of government would be in our lives.  As far as I know, no one asked her in follow-up what government intrusion into the lives of those in The Confederacy then she had in mind: what government actions had so motivated the people of what was then half of our country to take up arms against the federation that was then the United States of America.  And that, the media proclaimed, was a misstep on Haley's part, which only demonstrated that obtuseness to which I referred in the first place.

Nikky Haley is an ambitious politician, and she goes where the votes are.  In this case, she is running for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, and she is doing so against Donald Trump who, put most politely, is a mountebank selling snake oil out of the trunk of his limo.  And what is that snake oil?  At least in part, it is exactly what Haley said was the cause of our civil war: resistance to the decline of white supremacy as a controlling ethos in our country.  Nikky Haley was not making a mistake, whether she knew it or not, and she is sly enough that she may well have calculated her remark and its aftermath.  Donald Trump ascended to the presidency by pandering to those who believe that, among other things, people make too much of slavery because in the end, it really didn't do much harm to anyone that mattered.  That is what CRT, or critical race theory is about.  It is institutionalization of the premise that the civil war and slavery are pass√© and we should get over them.  There is no aftermath to be considered, much less studied, the Trumpers contend.  That's where the contention that the civil war was about the civil rights of southern gentry and not about the freedom of all men who are, in their sub rosa creed, not created equal arose.  Nikky Haley just climbed aboard the band wagon of the 70% of Republicans who support Donald Trump.  She became Trump's co-panderer by saying what she did, thus putting herself into the same class of candidates that Trump now controls.  She showed her moral flexibility...that she is as Trumpy as Trump, and that isn't a mistake for an aspirant to public office who is as morally flexible as Haley is.  It was a power play.

I don't know whether Haley is smart enough to intentionally be that devious and hypocritical, but I wouldn't be surprised if she is.  She is of Indian descent, and that means non-white to many of Trump's constituency, which in turn means she is less than suitable in their collective estimation to be their leader.  By declaring herself in league with them, she at least overcomes some of what might be held against her in a contest with Trump, and that is what the Republican race is turning into.  No one else in contention for the nomination is making any inroads into Trump's fealty from the vast majority of the party.  DeSantis's standing in the race seems to have stopped sliding, but he isn't gaining any ground either.  In fact, vis-√†-vis Trump, no one is.  But Haley has purloined some of the support that the others had, including some of DeSantis's.  She has put herself in a virtual tie with the Florida governor for number two, which often means the vice-presidency, which in turn means a place in line to inherit the presidency itself.  Is Haley that shrewd, and I don't mean that as a complement.  Only she knows for sure, but I think that she is, at least half way, and I am sure she is that ambitious.  I think that her denial of slavery as the cause of the civil war was just stating her heart-felt belief, which was in effect stating the MAGA trope is her credo, which in turn was just a pitch for the MAGA militia to take a good look at her.  To Haley, what she said wasn't a mistake as it turns out.  It was just a cynical play for the support of some people who's cynicism is just as compelling for them as Haley's is for her.

I say that Haley has now declared herself ready for the Trump big league.  She has shown in more ways than one that she is as Trumpy as Trump himself, regardless of how she equivocates sometimes on the issue of Trump's moral deficiency.  She just wanted everyone to know that she was one of them, and now it seems that it will redound to her benefit, no matter what the obtuse press has to say.

Your friend,


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on January 4, 2024 11:16 AM.

Letter 2 America for November 14, 2023 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for January 25, 2024 is the next entry in this blog.

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