I love what Robert Reich has said in this missive that he published on FB regarding the defeat in the U.S. Senate of a bill to require further background checks on gun ownership. I’ve been saying for years that America is two countries trying to live as one.
I really believe that Lincoln was right about slavery but wrong about succession.
Think of what kind of affluent, socially progressive, culturally rich country “The Union” would be today and what the “The Confederacy” might look like if they had gone their separate ways 153 years ago? 620,000 died in the Civil War so the sh*t kickers from Oklahoma and South Carolina could tell legislators from the better educated, more sophisticated “blue states” in 2013 that the guns that are killing their children should be as easy to purchase as an apple?
The deeper message here is that rural, older, white America occupies one land; younger, urban, increasingly non-white America lives in another — and the dividing line on social issues (not just guns, but abortion, equal marriage rights, and immigration reform) runs between the two. Begich, Baucus, Pryor, and Heitkamp may be Democrats but they’re also from rural, older, white America. That land has disproportionate political power in the Senate, and a gerrymandered House — which may not bode well for immigration reform over the next few months, and suggests continuing battles over “state’s rights” to determine who can marry and when human life begins.
Over time, though, older, rural, white America is losing ground to a nation becoming ever younger, more urban, and increasingly non-white — a fact that threatens the former so much that it’s in full backlash against the forces of change.