CNN took the racism-is-to-blame justification for President-Elect Donald Trump’s successful 2016 campaign to a new level of hyperbole Thursday, comparing the outcome of the election to the white-washing of slavery.
The article, published Thursday, says that Trump’s win will herald the return of “racial amnesia” — the kind of amnesia the ex-Confederates and Southerners allegedly had when they tried to spin the Civil War as a battle over states’ rights, not slavery and racism.
“The Democratic Party has always been about the control of one group of people by another group of people, personally, governmentally, economically, or culturally.”
That excuse became known among historians as the “Lost Cause” theory. It was used to cast the Civil War as a noble endeavor. The war was over a rightful secession quest, based on abused states’ rights.
The theory itself is disputed; it’s inarguable thousands of Confederates fought and died who had no stake or interest in the issue of slavery, but even so, how this relates to Trump and his 2016 campaign is anyone’s guess. Like the toy Stretch Armstrong, CNN is here to reach out with long arms and pull together disparate concepts.
The theory goes that white Americans, a demographic that largely backed Trump, are engaging in a form of racial amnesia, and trying to inflict that amnesia on populations targeted for abuse by Trump: blacks, Latinos, immigrants, and women, according to historians. It’s much like Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca’s silly theory that Trump is “gaslighting” America.
The obviously liberal historians were interviewed by two CNN reporters in CNN’s new racial-issues series, appropriately titled, “This Could Be Awkward.” It’s the first examination of race in a series for CNN. And, of course, it’s on Donald J. Trump and his supporters.
“It’s already happening again,” Brooks D. Simpson, a leading Civil War historian who teaches at Arizona State University, told CNN’s John Blake and Tawanda Scott Sambou. “A lot of people are saying we’re going to have to unite behind the new guy and forget what he had to say. People who feel that they are part of those populations targeted by Trump are going to be told by whites to get over it.”
Craig Shirley, a conservative historian and author of books on President Ronald Reagan, mocked CNN’s premise, its attempt at history, and even some of the left-wing sources they used.
“This story is yet further evidence that liberals should not be allowed nor trusted to record history,” Shirley told LifeZette. “Lest we forget, Orwell’s ‘Ministry of Truth’ was an institution of the Left, much as American colleges campuses are today. All one has to do it look at a college textbook of history to realize it is all left-wing propaganda, with little basis in fact.”
Making CNN’s premise a tough sell is that many, many people voted for President Obama, America’s first black president, twice — and then they voted for Trump in 2016. More than 200 U.S. counties that voted for Obama twice voted for Trump.
Shirley says the election was a simple choice.
“The Democratic Party of Andrew Jackson was founded as the party of slavery. The Democratic Party has always been about the control of one group of people by another group of people, personally, governmentally, economically, or culturally,” Shirley said.
The CNN reporters note this individualist reasoning and dismiss it. This is because, CNN reports, that like a pre-programmed android, America’s benign, ordinary behaviors are, in fact, laced with racism. It’s a hidden code darting through their decision-making, the Left says.
“You don’t have to pick on the South, though, to spot racial amnesia,” CNN writes. “Racism is embedded in the daily lives of ordinary Americans in ways that many forget. Where Americans live, worship, send their children to school — much of it is driven by race, says David Billings, a pastor who came of age as a white Southerner during the 1960s.”
CNN sums up the large problem America has to allegedly address, a situation as troublesome as — and this is an incredible claim — the end of the Civil War.
“Will facing what Trump’s victory says about America be too monstrous to bear? If that happens, Trump’s road to the White House won’t just be a story about an astounding presidential victory. It could become another Lost Cause,” CNN concludes ominously.
Shirley mocked the premise and said CNN’s history is faulty.
“The history of the Civil War is much subtler than the meat cleaver approach of this article,” Shirley said. “The reasons for the war evolved and even the newspapers of the time called it the neutral ‘War Between the States.’ Only toward the end was it called ‘The Civil War.’ Lincoln said his job was to hold the Union, either half-slave and half-free or all slave or all free.”
Trump’s win was about real meaty issues — little else explains how he could triumph over Democrat Hillary Clinton. It seems safe to say the vast majority of Trump supporters would scoff at the notion that somehow the role of racism as a motivator for Confederates in 1861 impacted their vote — over 150 years later.
Individualism may be an unpleasant concept to the Left — ironic as that is, since they so often cite slavery as the nation’s top sin. But individual freedom was a winning issue in 2016.
“[Trump] wants to reduce the Washington culture of corruption and this in and of itself will reduce the power of Washington and give it back to the individual,” Shirley noted.