Redeemers: American Right

The American right has always been a complex and dynamic political force, with different ideological strands vying for influence within its ranks. However, in recent years, there has been a troubling trend that has emerged within the conservative movement, one that bears an uncomfortable resemblance to some of the ugliest political movements of the past. This trend mixes the worst features of post-Reconstruction “redeemers” with a distinctly inter-war European flavor, creating a toxic brew that no American should be comfortable with.

To understand this phenomenon, it’s worth examining some of the key historical contexts that inform it. The post-Reconstruction period in the United States was a time of great upheaval and change, as the country grappled with the aftermath of the Civil War and the end of slavery. In many southern states, white supremacist groups known as “redeemers” sought to restore white dominance over the newly freed black population. They used a variety of tactics, including voter suppression, violence, and the establishment of Jim Crow laws, to maintain their grip on power.

Meanwhile, in Europe during the inter-war period, a number of far-right political movements emerged in response to the upheaval caused by World War I and the Russian Revolution. These movements, which included fascist and Nazi parties, shared a number of common features, including ultra-nationalism, authoritarianism, and a willingness to use violence and intimidation to achieve their goals. They also espoused a toxic form of racial and ethnic supremacy, which led to the Holocaust and other atrocities during World War II.

Now, it may seem like a stretch to draw parallels between these historical contexts and the current American right. After all, the United States is a democracy, and we like to think that our political system is fundamentally different from the authoritarian regimes that emerged in Europe during the 20th century. However, there are some worrying signs that suggest that the American right is becoming infected with some of the worst aspects of these historical trends.

For example, there is a growing trend on the right to downplay or even deny the existence of systemic racism in the United States. This is often accompanied by efforts to restrict voting rights, which disproportionately affect people of color. These tactics are eerily reminiscent of the voter suppression and Jim Crow laws that were used by the redeemers in the post-Reconstruction South.

At the same time, there is a rising tide of white nationalism and xenophobia within the conservative movement. This is reflected in the popularity of figures like Steve Bannon, who has ties to far-right European movements, and the Proud Boys, a group that openly espouses white supremacist beliefs. These ideas are fundamentally at odds with the pluralistic, democratic ideals that have long been a hallmark of American politics.

It’s worth noting that not all conservatives are embracing these dangerous trends. There are many principled conservatives who reject racism, xenophobia, and authoritarianism, and who continue to fight for a more inclusive and democratic America. However, the fact that these trends are gaining traction within the conservative movement is deeply concerning, and should serve as a wake-up call to all Americans who value democracy, equality, and justice.In conclusion, the ugly blend of post-Reconstruction “redeemers” and inter-war European fascism that is taking hold on the American right is a deeply troubling development. It threatens to undermine the very foundations of our democracy, and to perpetuate the injustices and inequalities that have plagued our country for far too long. It is up to all of us, regardless of our political affiliations, to stand up to these dangerous trends and to work together to build a better, more just, and more inclusive America

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