Thursday, November 25, 2021

War! What Is It Good For?

I must have dropped off the Soros mailing list, because I didn't realize until today that there's a war on Thanksgiving. The twist this time is that it isn't being ginned up by Fox News to fire up the rubes. This one is from Matt Lewis, an anti-Trump conservative who rarely criticizes Republicans without throwing comparable blame at Democrats. Thanksgiving, it turns out, is getting it from Both Sides (via Hot Air, because the original is behind a paywall):
The culture war doesn’t take Thanksgiving week off, and its two main participants aren’t big on giving thanks, anyway.

The illiberal left wants to radically transform an inherently evil America that was founded on slavery and colonialism. The post-liberal right wants to forfeit the idea of liberal democracy, contending that modern America is weak, secular, and decadent....

MSNBC recently invited writer Gyasi Ross to talk about the “mythology” of Thanksgiving. “Instead of bringing stuffing and biscuits, those settlers brought genocide and violence,” he said. “That genocide and violence is still on the menu as state-sponsored violence against Native and Black Americans is commonplace. And violent private white supremacy is celebrated and subsidized.” [emphasis added]
The left wants a more equitable and democratic America in which we confront and improve upon the truly shameful parts of our history. The right wants to end the democratic experiment. Both sides, amirite?

Jazz Shaw, a hack even by Hot Air standards, apparently took this as a challenge to his own bothsides cred, and came up with this gem:
Yes, in the course of settlers' westward expansion into land that was already occupied, some of the people who were being ethnically cleansed off of their land committed atrocities against the people who were doing the ethnic cleansing, so really, both sides. I suppose we could be thankful that Fox hasn't tried to turn the War on Thanksgiving into something on the level of their War on Christmas, but then I'm supposed to be at war with Thanksgiving, which means I shouldn't be thankful for anything, so instead I guess I'll just be pissed off at useless fucks like Matt Lewis who know how toxic the Republicans are but reflexively undermine anyone who poses a credible alternative.

ETA: Matt Lewis and Jazz Shaw both make a point of arguing that our genocide isn't anything exceptional, providing historical examples to show that not just Both Sides but all sides did it. But they're skipping the part where conservatives inist on American exceptionalism. No, in the larger scheme, extermination of the native population wasn't anything exceptional. And I don't think anyone is arguing that it was. The point here is the disconnect between the claim that America is exceptional and our entirely unexceptional genocide. Either we're exceptional or we aren't, and if we are we need to be held to exceptional standards, and if we aren't we shouldn't pretend to be.

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