So President Trump thinks it’s “sad” that “our beautiful statues and monuments” to famous Confederates are being removed from public squares.
There was a time when no Republican would dream of saying such a thing. It was the Republican Party, let us remember, that preserved the Union, freed the slaves and championed the rights of African Americans during Reconstruction. It was the Democrats, in contrast, who ripped the country apart, fought for slavery, and imposed segregation.
Donald Trump and his supporters may be waging battles against the press, immigrants, voting rights, the environment, science, social welfare programs, Planned Parenthood and what they label political correctness and the deep state.
But to them these are mere skirmishes in a much larger conflict. The president has essentially declared an all-out war on the American 1960s.
How did it come to pass that of the two political parties, the Democrats — who have long fought for the underdog, civil rights, consumer protections, universal health care, the minimum wage and for unions against powerful interests that try to crush them — have now been branded in large swaths of the country as the party of the establishment and the elites?
Hark back to the original populists of the 1890s and they saw themselves exactly the same way, as champions of common Americans left behind by distant, powerful interests that were driving — and profiting from — economic dislocation and change.
These populists channeled the fears and frustrations of Southern and Midwestern farmers who were straining to keep up in an increasingly industrialized and national economy — and growing more and more resentful toward an emerging modern culture that no longer venerated the yeomen and instead celebrated the captains of industry.
On Monday June 19, in the case of Matal v. Tam, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled yet again that the First Amendment trumps political correctness.
This time, though, the circumstances were a bit unusual. Simon Tam, an Asian-American musician, founded the first all-Asian-American dance-rock band. The band chose to call itself the “Slants” as a way of thumbing its nose at anti-Asian stereotypes and prejudices—such as slant eyes.