Finally, the big reveal has come to conservative Americans. Protesters in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida marched over the weekend to voice their opposition to “shelter in place” measures designed to flatten the curve of Coronavirus 2019 incidences in the country.
The demonstrators took to the streets at the urging of Donald Trump, the titular head of the Republican Party, and the current occupant of the White House. In recent tweets, Trump encouraged his base supporters to invade the streets of American and demand Democratic governors to open up their states for business.
The President indicated he would like to see the country open up again around May Day. Democratic governors have been reluctant to put corporate and business profits over scientific data, which suggests that May 1, maybe too soon to remove the “shelter in place” restrictions.
When Trump gave the word for mass protests, ostensibly, to prove there is a groundswell of support for his desire to lift the quarantine, his so-called “base” turned out in rather pathetic numbers to support their President.
Shockingly, the much talked about “Trump base,” turned out to be overwhelmingly white gun-toting, Confederate flag-waving American men and a few white women who love them. These are the forgotten Americans whom Trump gave a voice during the 2016 Presidental race.
The Michigan contingent paraded around the capital with signs sounding in the language of revolutionaries seeking to overthrow the government. One sign read, “Remove the Whitmer Regime,” another said, “Live Free or Die.”
Seeing this display, one remembers why no one has thought of them since Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to American General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia,155 years ago last week.
It is such demigods as these that decent Republicans have gotten into bed with to secure a conservative Supreme Court majority. The coming-out party of the Trump base makes it alarmingly clear that the GOP will not emerge from this dalliance without getting flea bites and hair lice.
These bottom of the barrel conservative supporters ought to be shunned by every decent Rockerfeller-Bush Republican because joining hands and winning with them tears at the core of American democracy. The country can not afford four more years of giving voice to Americans who are still fighting the Civil War. It’s time for Trump’s rag-tag bandits to get over Lee’s surrender a century and a half ago and move into 21st century America recognizing every citizen as a full partner in the make American great dream.
Harold Michael Harvey is the author of Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. He is a Past President of the Gate City Bar Association. He is the recipient of Gate City’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award, which he received for his pro bono representation of Black college students arrested during Freaknik celebrations in the mid to late 1990s. An avid public speaker, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.