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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/17/21

The Klu Klux Kaucus Will End in Tragedy

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From Hartmann Report

The America First movement rises again & it doesn't take a dog to figure out what that whistle means

Senator of Texas Ted Cruz on Anglo-Saxon values
Senator of Texas Ted Cruz on Anglo-Saxon values
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Well, now they're just coming right out and saying it.

Several Southern Republican members of the House of Representatives have proposed a Klu Klux Kaucus that wll adhere to "Anglo-Saxon" values and vigorously resist allowing any more people of color into America under any circumstances. They're officially calling it the "America First Caucus."

The original America First movement started in the autumn of 1940, with open support for Adolf Hitler, loudly promoting their fear that white people in America were subject to being "replaced" by people of color into the fabric of our country. Those engineering this Great Replacement, America Firsters believed, were wealthy, media-connected Jews.

It also openly opposed America doing anything to stop Adolf Hitler after his 1939 invasion of Poland, and was particularly against our engaging in any kind of military action against Germany's leader.

At its peak, it had 800,000 members including future President Jerry Ford and future US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart. It was largely funded by the mind-bogglingly wealthy rightwing families who owned Sears Roebuck and the Chicago Tribune, the "billionaires" of their day.

Dr. Seuss, who seems to be making a bit of a comeback thanks to Republican hysteria, produced one of the most famous America First cartoons. It shows a kangaroo named "America First" with baby kangaroos in her pouch labeled "Nazis," and "Fascists."

The movement's leader, Charles Lindbergh, addressed the "Jews will not replace us" issue in one of his most famous America First speeches when he said of Jewish Americans, "Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government."

Small wonder that Georgia's Marjorie Taylor Greene and Arizona's Paul Gosar, apologists for the traitors who attacked our republic on January 6th and fellow travelers with uber-racist Donald Trump, are the founding members of this new Kaucus.

In their introductory documentation, they argue that they're only interested in promoting or voting for infrastructure that "befits the progeny of European architecture." It doesn't take a dog to figure out what that whistle means.

In fact, they are quite proud of the racism. According to a document obtained by Punchbowl News, the Kaucus' main aim is to "follow in President Trump's footsteps, and potentially step on some toes and sacrifice sacred cows for the good of the American nation."

And what sacred cows might those be?

"[S]ocietal trust and political unity are threatened," they say, "when foreign citizens are imported en masse into a country..." As Donald Trump would say, they're not talking about immigrants from Norway. Republicans understand what the new Kaucus is all about, and a few who aren't rushing to join are instead objecting to their racism and xenophobic hatred being so open and public.

Representative Liz Cheney, no shrinking violet but also apparently having a few scruples that must've skipped the previous generation, tweeted about the new Kaucus without mentioning it by name:

"Republicans believe in equal opportunity, freedom, and justice for all. We teach our children the values of tolerance, decency and moral courage. Racism, nativism, and anti-Semitism are evil. History teaches we all have an obligation to confront and reject such malicious hate."

Her opposition will probably cause a few hundred more Republicans to eagerly join the Kaucus. State-by-state organizations haven't been announced, but it won't be all that difficult for them to set them up and enlist members: all they have to do is buy the mailing lists for the existing Klan and White Citizens Council organizations in each of the Southern states.

America's most horrific crimes and our deepest wounds have always involved race. The largest genocide in the history of the world is arguably the near-extermination of Native Americans by European invaders. The slave trade to this country turned the South into a violent ethno-nationalist police state. It's Black residents lived in a state of terror that persists in many ways to this day.

We are still, this time by political proxy, fighting the Civil War, our nation's bloodiest and most destructive conflict. Greene, Gosar and others who are promoting this new Kaucus, may think they are just conducting the most recent in a long line of racist GOP publicity stunts designed to raise their Fox News media profile and double down on the millions they raise every month promoting division and fear.

But, they are also giving aid and comfort to the traitors who attacked our Capitol on January 6th and tried, for the second time in America's history, to end our democratic republican form of government. They're contributing to the regional and racial hatred and fear that have, in the past, done so much damage to our republic and destroyed so many lives. We've seen politicians use cheap and rhetorical devices like this to promote hatred and division in other countries. Without exception, it has ended in disaster.

America must learn the lessons of its past. If we fail to, as the old saying goes, we shall be doomed to repeat our most terrible mistakes.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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