Liberales Contra Conservadores, Tomo II
I swore the wind changed, but this is an explanatory article for a friend and Catholic School alum.
PART THE FIRST:
Throughout El Trumperiato, I commented that Trumpism is not Fascism simply because of the sheer lack of focus, intellectual rigor and organization on the part of El Don. Trumpism more closely resembles a Latin American Banana Republic and its pineapple-headed buffoonery. The very specific term for this is “caudillismo” — the strong man with the strong hand. Donald Trump was not a fascist, but rather a caudillo. This doesn’t render him harmless (just ask any one murdered during the Dirty Wars of the 1970s), but it does remove some of the fear of him heading an organized movement of ethnocentric mechanized mass murder. Trump is not a European Fascist. He’s an American Caudillo. (Y por America, quiero decir todo el continente, desde Alaska hasta Tierra Del Fuego.) It’s a uniquely New World species of the authoritarian genus.
This American convergent evolution is observed not only in Trumpism as Caudillismo, but in the larger historical context leading up to Trump. He emerged as the strong man, not merely of the US Republican Party, but also the strong man of US Conservatism. This is not the same thing. US Conservatives are not conservative. They are absolutist radicals, unwilling to compromise and perfectly willing to dehumanize their opponents, the American Liberals. Although American Conservatives preach democratic values and election integrity, they are anti-liberal authoritarians to the core who speak in the code of underground revolutionaries. They have used and will again use violence to advance their cause. US Liberals on the other hand are only now coming to fully realize the hostility the competing tribe has for them. Some groups under the Leftist/Liberal umbrella knew, but only after the events of 1/6/2021 have the majority of US Liberals come to recognize the seriousness of US Conservatives. The Culture War is not a metaphor for a sizable percentage of the US population. The United States of America is slowly drifting into civil strife between the Conservative Population and the Liberal Population. Once again, we have historical examples in Latin America of this strife. After the Mexican War of Independence, the country vacillated between Conservative, authoritarian rule under men like Santa Ana and more Liberal, democratic rule under men like Benito Juarez . This back and forth between the Conservatives and The Liberals resulted in a series of wars stretching from 1857 into the 1870s. Mexico finally did not settle into a period of stability until Porfirio Diaz took complete control of the country in 1876 and ruled until 1911, when the Mexican Revolution broke out.
This date of 1876 is interesting as it marks the end of the US Reconstruction Period. At this point I am running out of time and will leave this:
The Mexicanization of American Politics: The United States’ Transnational Path from Civil War to Stabilization
“WHILE HISTORIANS TYPICALLY INTERPRET the disputed 1876 U.S. presidential election in terms of its impact upon postwar Reconstruction or its allegedly fraudulent outcome, many contemporaries instead saw the crisis as proof of the nation’s fundamental fragility. They worried that the line between violence and politics — obscured by the Civil War — might evaporate completely in the heat of a contested presidency. With the disintegration of democratic institutions and habits, the U.S. might fall into a spiral of civil wars. One anxious army general feared that the country might soon collapse like “Mexico and the Central American countries” unless party leaders tamped down the conflict. This turn to Mexican analogies to both describe anxieties about civil war and chart a path to stabilization was not an anomaly but part of a widespread, mostly forgotten discourse in the 1870s United States. The shorthand terms “Mexicanization” and “Mexicanized,” born during overlapping 1860s wars, spread rapidly after the disputed 1876 election, appearing in many hundreds of newspaper articles, in private correspondence, and on the floor of Congress. Soon-to-be president Rutherford B. Hayes grimly disavowed the possibility of Mexicanization, a Harper’s Weekly cartoon mocked the “Scarecrow” of “Mexicanism,” and The Nation made a solemn observation: “we hear every day strong expressions of a desire, and also of a determination, that this government shall not be ‘Mexicanized.’ ” Legal scholar John Codman Hurd, in his 1881 political handbook, defined a “Mexicanization of institutions” in which “all party contests have the character of civil war”: “The same thing would occur in this country,” he wrote, “if a party, on the theory of a ‘war of ideas,’ should attempt to retain the control of the general Government against the popular vote.” “
PART THE SECOND TO COME
I wonder if the Mexicanization of American Politics was simply not delayed 150 years?…