The Unnecessary Evil That is Tom Cotton
The GOP’s freefall into absolute madness continues to gather momentum. An unholy collection of nativist, nationalist, racist science-deniers, presided over by a membrane-skinned, narcissistic man-baby tv reality host, answerable only to their corporate masters, continue to heap dishonor and misery on the sane part of the American people (which is the majority of them).
Just as the Trump / GOP nightmare seemingly can’t get any worse, step forward Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas). In a seeming effort to out-nauseate his repellent GOP colleagues, Cotton has declared slavery to be a “necessary evil” as part of the natural historic fabric of the US. Cotton offered those startling words in response to the New York Times “1619” project which aims to reemphasize the critical role that slavery played in both colonial and post-Revolutionary America.
Cotton is revealing the true nature of the GOP, what it has always been – a white man’s racist club. Sure, there may be a few exceptions to that rule, but there can no longer be any doubt as to the real identity of the Republican party. It’s electoral strength today rests predominantly in what were the old Confederate states.
The GOP’s electoral strategy has now boiled down to thinly veiled racism – nothing more, nothing less, pure and simple. No other advanced Western country has anywhere close to the racist problems that the US continues to have. Even if they had slavery as part of their past (of which not all do), they have long moved on. It’s just not an issue and hasn’t been for a very long time. It is a peculiarly American problem that continues to linger in the air like a blocked chimney fire in a wood cabin.
Going back to Cotton’s venomous remarks, there is no such thing as a “necessary” evil. That is a complete oxymoron. Evil is willingly perpetrated by people with an end objective in mind. It is a conscious choice. For Cotton to somehow suggest that slavery was needed so as to later become extinct is a nonsense of Trump-style proportions. Cotton is trying to square a racist circle and gain some sort of credit or recognition for doing so. Of course, with Trump’s legions of MAGA acolytes, Cotton’s comments are “incredible insights” or “profound.” To the rest of us, they are obnoxious garbage.
Slavery was evil. It really is that straight-forward. No amount of twenty-first century revisionism will change that basic fact. Cotton and his GOP cronies can try and spin it however they wish, but it just won’t wash. Slavery is a huge stain on the history of the “land of the free” and, incredibly, continues to be so to this day. The US is riddled with systemic and institutionalized racism, all of which stems from a Civil War that never actually came to end. Sure,
in 1865 the Confederacy came to an end. However, the racist mentality that had fueled the rebels came nowhere close to an end. It has festered on for centuries more, so badly so that in the twenty-first century we can have black Americans blatantly murdered in the street by white cops and sitting Senators can spout off that slavery was a “necessary evil.”
Since the end of the Second World War, the US has embraced the idea of exceptionalism – that it was somehow different and, crucially, better, than anywhere else. That exceptionalism has proven to be the case, but for all the wrong reasons. The rest of the world is looking on at what is presently happening in the US with a mixture of bewilderment and horror. Other countries simply don’t have to tolerate the level of inherent racism that plagues the US.
For a country that has put boots on the moon, swung world wars and given us the mass-produced car and the i-Phone, it is still entrenched in a racist fixation of 250 years ago when a black person was deemed to be three fifths of a white person.
Sadly, the Civil War never really ended. It is still being fought today, just by different means, perpetuated by a clown of a President currently occupying the White House. However, there will come a day when these racists, like Cotton, Trump and countless other “patriots”, are finally held to account. And their racist rhetoric and slurs will be held against them forever.