The Christian right, along with the gun rights enthusiasts, and those who privately support a diffused undercurrent of racist traditionalism, believe that modern movements for equal rights, as well as for the community’s need for safety and security through law and regulation, are threats to genuine American culture. They threaten traditions of “freedom” that makes their world ideologically comfortable. The current president has become their champion.
That puts Donald Trump front and center in the ongoing cultural civil war. Against this backdrop it becomes clear what the president means when he says “make American great again.” He means the country has to return to the behavioral patterns that existed before the Civil Rights Movement, before the Great Depression, and before the Second World War. It is not only possible that this regression can be approximated, it is already being attempted! A sure sign of this is the fact that Trump’s ascendency to office has encouraged a return of public displays of racist opinions—just like those of Roseanne Barr.
Clearly, the American embrace of things like gender and racial equality is superficial and fragile. It’s superficial because civil rights legislation was restricted to the public sphere—and even that legislation has proved too much for large numbers of white Americans steeped in a cultural history which, in truth, was and is ethically wretched. The past now rises up to challenge those fragile improvements of the recent present.
via Counterpunch The US is at War With Itself