Lost Causes, from the Confederacy to Trump


By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan

President Donald Trump has embarked on a lost cause akin to that embraced by Southerners after the Confederacy was crushed. That historical “Lost Cause” falsely posited that the U.S. Civil War was fought not to defend slavery, but, rather, to preserve states’ rights and their cherished Southern way of life. That was a lie. The Confederates were soundly defeated, surrendering unconditionally at Appomattox on April 9, 1865. But the institutions they fought to protect — white supremacy and the brutal oppression of African Americans — continued, shrouded in the false narrative of the Lost Cause. Trump and Trumpism are its new embodiment, a Lost Cause embraced by over 70 million voters in this past election.

Trump refuses to concede to former Vice President Joe Biden, filing lawsuits challenging Biden’s decisive electoral college lead, and despite losing to Biden in the popular vote by more than 5 million votes (and still counting). Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meanwhile, publicly promises a “a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.” Trump fired his defense secretary and others deemed insufficiently loyal, and is packing the Pentagon with “yes men,” like racist Islamophobe Anthony Tata, who called President Obama a “secret Muslim,” a “Manchurian Candidate” and a “terrorist leader.”

Lost amidst the chaos is this simple, inarguable fact: Mass movements drove the historic voter turnout that won the election for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. “It is the organizers … who have been organizing Black communities around issues that impact us, that mobilized those voters for the Biden-Harris win,” Bree Newsome Bass, a North Carolina-based artist and antiracist activist said this week on the Democracy Now! news hour. She has little patience for the bipartisan direction being signaled by the Biden transition team…

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