What We Need Is More Redneck Liberals

     What this country needs is more redneck liberals.
     Day after day I have less patience with people who disagree with me. You could blame me for this, or you could blame the State of the Nation, or All of Us Together Could Blame Someone Else. Like they did in the Soviet Union. Like they do in Iran. And Texas.
     I don’t blame anyone for it.
     Rednecks blame other people.
     Liberals blame institutions.
     Iran and Vladimir Putin blame The West. (West of what?)
     Muslim and Christian fundamentalists blame Modernity, which is to say: Time itself.
     What are you gonna do, fundamentalists? Kill time?
     Tell me your plan.
     Redneck liberals know we have no one to blame but ourselves.
     In the year 48, the Emperor Claudius decreed that a few men from noble families in Gaul could be admitted to the Roman Senate.
     The Roman Senate was outraged. Admitting foreigners! Claudius was desecrating Rome!
     Claudius, bless his educated heart, reminded the Senate that most of them were descendants of people who once had been enemies of Rome.
     Yet they and their ancestors had been granted Roman citizenship.
     “Even I,” Claudius said, “am a descendant of the Sabines,” one of Rome’s first enemies, known to us today, if at all, as victims of mass rape.
     So don’t get up on that high horse, the emperor told his Senate.
     Do you get it, Donald Trump supporters?
     You’re not pure. You’re not “real Americans.”
     There’s no such thing as a “real American” except the Indians — and how many of them do you know personally, rednecks?
     Not a one, I bet.
     So shut up.
     And above all, White Men, quit whining.
     For 500 years your ancestors robbed Indians of their land. They killed millions of Indians, stuck them in the desert, and if anything of value was found there, they murdered more Indians and moved them again.
     Your white ancestors imported 70 million African slaves, worked them to death, whipped them, raped their women, and deprived them of anything remotely resembling a legal right — for centuries.
     Now millions of white people, above all in the Great Plains and Midwest, are whining: “It’s so unfair! Donald Trump can make it right!”
     No he can’t, rednecks.
     Here’s why.
     The scientific revolution, which began 500 years ago, has given Western European civilization — White Men — de facto control of the world. As Yuval Harari wrote in his justly acclaimed book, “Sapiens,” science began with the simple sentence-word Ignoramus: We don’t know.
     Before then, the Powers That Be thought that everything that needed to be known was already known, in the Scriptures: Christian, Islam, whatever.
     But that’s not how things are, rednecks. Scientists said: Ignoramus. We don’t know everything. But maybe we can find out.
     That simple but revolutionary attitude, plus a lot of hard work, gave Western European civilization hegemony over the world.
     Fundamentalists — Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Trump supporters — think their god knows it all.
     No he doesn’t, you Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Trump-supporting rednecks.
     Nobody knows it all. That’s medieval thinking.
     Trump’s entire campaign — his entire appeal — is based on medieval thought: that he knows it all. That he can fix everything.
     No, he can’t.
     No one can fix your pain, American White Man.
     You’ve had centuries of advantages: against Indians, against black folks, against Italians and Irish, against Catholics and Jews.
     Why didn’t your ancestors, or you, use those advantages to educate yourself?
     Why do you demand still more advantages so you can compete against people who are not white, but whose ancestors came here, like yours did, in search of freedom?
     Grow up, White Man.
     Get a job. Stop whining. Stop asking for handouts.
     Learn to stand on your own two feet.

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