As the dust settles on November 2012 and water flows downward through the Potomac River, we are witnessing a transition in the United States from USA into DSA or Divided States of America. While acknowledging that some of the readers’ comments posted at the end of different columns are out of context, we believe that the spontaneity and frankness in them brings out real emotions and these should not be discarded totally. So an analysis of these comments may give you some lead into the people’s voice and direction of the future. That is, we are attempting in this column to substantiate some emerging trends in a DSA.
The Washington Post carried out a quick survey of voters trend in the exit polls of November 6. Before we look into its conclusions, it may be interesting to read the comments of one of the bloggers underneath that very survey: “The true problem with the GOP (Republican) is that it has become the ‘Party of Mean’. Everything is about being mean and nasty. While liberals may be snotty, affected, etc, they don’t go mean like the modern GOP does. You can blame Goldwater, Nixon, the Tea Party, or whomever you want. But all the birther, rape, moocher, illegal, and real America talk says, ‘we know who really belongs here, and it’s not you’. The only thing that could save the GOP in the near term is the second coming of George Wallace to siphon off the nasties and leave a market solution, fiscal conservative, entrepreneurial remnant upon which to rebuild’.”
A recent news in the press that people from most of the Republican states (in thousands) had requested the White House for secession from the union may also look like a lunatic thought and rubbished under the carpet by more serious people. Nevertheless, it gives a clue to an emerging trend that some people in the DSA have started thinking on these lines.
Going back to the exit poll of the Washington Post, we reproduce here some of the interesting trends thrown out by the Obama-Romney contest of November 2012.
There was a clear dividing line for whom the dominant white community voted for: 59 percent for Romney and 39 percent for Obama; in case of non-whites like Hispanics and Blacks, a more clearer dividing line emerged - 93 percent blacks and 71 percent Hispanics voted for Obama with this trend getting stronger as compared to 2008. White Evangelicals, who form 26 percent of the overall vote, gave Romney 78 percent of their vote; while the non-religious group favoured Obama with 70 percent of the vote. Geographically, the US was clearly divided with the centre barring two states going en mass in favour of Romney and east and west coasts swept by Obama.
One of the writers in this column (Umar Waqar) had predicted in two articles published in TheNation (Pakistan) in 2009 and 2010 that Europe as well as the greater West, including the US, were going through a transition in demographics where the new political contest will sharpen between the new and the old immigrant (non-white and the white), and this trend has the potential to cause serious instability and economic recession.
A quoting from the article, entitled Wither Eurozone, published in The Herald in 2012, may be appropriate to understand the growing gulf between whites and non-whites in Europe and the US: “The main strategic problem staring Europe straight in the face is the projected contest between the non-white immigrant and the native white. Andres Behring Breivik’s trial and his deliberations in the court said it all.”
The Telegraph reported an account of the court proceedings at Oslo on April 17; a few remarks and deliberations by Mr Breivik are quoted here for highlighting the political and psychological clash between the native whites and the non-white immigrants. As Breivik’s defence lawyers had warned, he expressed no regret for his massacre of 69 people, mostly teenagers, on the island of Utoya last July. “Yes, I would have done it again,” he said. “These were not innocent, non-political children, but these were people, who actively worked to uphold multicultural values…....The youth wing is in many ways similar to the Hitler Youth. It’s an indoctrination camp at Utoya.” Breivik compared himself to other racist serial killers in Europe, such as Peter Mangs, the Malmö serial killer, who in 2010 picked off immigrants with a sniper rifle, and Germany’s NSU group, who killed more than 10 immigrants over the last decade. “It is important that more patriots in Europe assume responsibility like I did, and men like Peter Mangs in Malmö did,” he said. “They are all perfect foot soldiers…....for nationalist rebirth. Europe needs more great heroes like them.”
Although the political divide in the main continental US has not metamorphosed into what Mr Breivik would desire, the right-wing politics has picked up pace with Tea Party and Fox News leading the crusade against the new immigrants and old Americans (Hispanics). This year, the targeting of Sikh community in a temple is one of the indicators that these so-called ‘lone wolves’ are no more alone, but a pack organised to hunt the new immigrants.
The Republican Party faces the challenge of its existence, as outdated ideas are not working anymore. Even its leadership is divided on the way forward with prospects of an ultra-right party emerging out of the ruins of GOP. The Telegraph’s Rafsanches and other panellists commented on this divide on November 7 as: “The Republican Party was last night descending into a civil war over the control of its political future, as recriminations raged about its failure to oust Barack Obama and take control of the US Senate. Some conservatives warned colleagues that they risked annihilation by refusing to change and appeal to the women, younger and ethnically-diverse voters, who had stood by Mr Obama since 2008. Yet, many supporters of the Tea Party movement – whose agenda was rebuked across the US – claimed Mitt Romney had actually not been conservative enough, vowing to drive the party further to the right.”
The main strategic challenges facing Mr Obama are not limited to disaster management in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, handling a collapsing military leadership marred by one sex scandal after the other, the Afghan-Iraq fiasco or the collapsing economy diving head-on into the pit of despair, but bringing back the DSA into the old union of the USA as well as avoiding the split of the union into American Bantustans.
The economic stagnation and lack of progress in the US are now talk of the town, as described by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. He wrote: “I had to catch a train in Washington last week, the paved street in the traffic circle around Union Station was in such poor condition that I felt as though I was on a roller coaster. I travelled on the Amtrak Acela, our sorry excuse for a fast train, on which I had so many dropped calls on my cell phone that you’d have thought I was on a remote desert island, not travelling from Washington to New York City. When I got back to Union Station, the escalator in the parking garage was broken. Maybe you’ve gotten used to all this and have stopped noticing. I haven’t. Our country needs a renewal.”
No doubt the divide has also lead to desperation. We conclude the article with an interesting comment on America by a blogger in the Washington Post: “Everyone was caught up in this race and the nitty-gritty details of Obama’s winning margin that everyone forgot one small important detail: neither one of these two candidates was that good. Neither one had solid programmes and neither one had a clear roadmap, and that’s the sad part. Four more years of Obama or four years of Romney.......it doesn’t really matter! We need a new Roosevelt to truly shake things up. So, let’s endure another many years of Obama’s lack of action and loads of rhetoric and hope that a ‘messiah’ will emerge to ‘save us’ around 2016. Say your prayers and cross your fingers.”
The writers are freelance columnists based in Zimbabwe. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org