Taking American history II this semester. It’s mind blowing to read about how progressive the Republican party of Lincoln was. I also find eerily familiar topics being discussed. It seems like a lot of what was being discussed then is relevant even today.. 153 years later. The players are just different.
The main issue then was the south resented the industrialized, urbanized, educated, progressive north. The rich planter class exploited those resentments to capitulate and try to obtain more power for themselves.
This same sentiment is what is fueling trumpism today. Except the problem isn’t so geographically binary anymore. Back then it was anything north of mason dixon was considered urban, anything south was rural.
Today, the rural/urban divide is being felt in EVERY state in the union. The conditions for a second civil war are ripe, but it wont be as clear cut as it was last time. We are talking a systemic failure caused by centuries old resentments.
There has to be a lesson in this somewhere. How can we bridge the gap between rural america and urban america. How can we create more balance between the two? With out rural america there wouldnt be urban america. I think rural america feels under appreciated and chastised by urban america fueling demagogues like Trump.
Which is ironic as fuck considering Trump is the epitome of everything they are seeking revenge for. The only thing Trump and rural america has in common is their complete rejection of urban progressivism. And Trump only feels that way because everyone in the upper echelons know he is a fraud. He would abandon his rural supporters if he thought he could finally be accepted by his peers.
So that leaves us with the question, how do we repair these old, deeply ingrained wounds and start building bridges between the two islands of contemporary Americana?