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The GOP Vision of the Good Old Days


What does the GOP want to undo, to change if they retake power in our government? What is their vision for America? It's easier to look at what we achieved in the 20th century, and what the conservative fought against and continue to fight against during perhaps the most extraordinary century for civil and human rights in the history of humans. These and more are the rights did not exist before the 20th century. There's and emphasis on women's rights in light of the draconian decision by the SCOTUS.

Women's Rights:
▪ Women couldn't serve on a jury in all 50 states until 50 years ago.
▪ Women couldn't get a business loan without a male cosigner
▪ Women couldn't have their passport
▪ Women couldn't serve as a permanent military
▪ Women couldn't work at jobs hazardous to their health or morals
▪ Women could not own property, sign contracts, or keep their wages
▪ Women could not take jobs with a shift between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.
▪ Women could not work while pregnant
▪ Women couldn't serve on a jury in most states
▪ Women couldn't vote
▪ If a woman married a non-U.S. citizen, she lost her citizenship
▪ It was rare for a woman to be granted a credit card without a man's signature
▪ Women's restrooms were rare and often inaccessible
▪ Women couldn't wear pants on the floor of the Senate
▪ Married women could not use contraceptives until 1972
▪ Women could be raped by their husbands without recourse under the law

Despite victory in the Civil War and the emancipation of the slaves, America remained a bitterly divided nation that tolerated bigotry and segregation all over the country. The Jim Crow era began toward the end of the Reconstruction period around 1877, and lasted until about 1965 - almost 100 years.

By the end of the 19th Century, as southern states passed legislation that segregated African Americans, the term Jim Crow was used to define these laws. Jim Crow began to crumble during WWII with the desegregation of war industries and the military. Still, African Americans couldn't own property or vote in many places. In some areas of the South, Black people were beaten and killed by white people with impunity.

In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus, leading to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. By the 1960s, college students became engaged in voter registration drives in the South. Martin Luther King Jr. came on the scene and rallied a nation that was ready for change. Finally, the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act in 1964 and 1965 ended the Jim Crow Era. Along the way, numerous political stands, protests, and battles were fought for the rights of African Americans.

Other groups of color, Latinos in particular, were discriminated against. Discrimination against Asians was particularly horrible. The Japanese were incarcerated against their will in Internment camps during WWII. Immigrants in general, Italian, Irish, and East Europeans, were looked down on; their only saving grace was that most of them looked white and were willing to do the shit jobs white Americans didn't want to do, so as long as they kept their mouths shut to hide their accents, they got along better than people of color.

And, don't even get me started on the almost successful genocide that was the American Government's policies for the Native Americans, a massive transgression that has yet to be completely acknowledged and addressed and meaningful and dignified reparations made.

What I described above is what the GOP considers the good old days. This is what they long for; wealthy white men totally in charge and everyone else knowing their place and not roiling the white supremacist pot. I experienced a good deal of this in the 1940s and 1950s growing up in Nebraska; I can only imagine what it must have been like in places like Mississippi and Alabama, and while I didn't march in Selma or chain myself to any gates, I fully supported the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and part way into the 1970s. If you haven't noticed, I'm still a staunch advocate for treating all people with dignity and respect which means ending racism.

We must not look backward, socially or politically for solutions to our modern-day problems and we must not let any political party take us back to the old days; those were not good old days unless you were a rich white man, they were days of suffering, misery, and death meted out by the white ruling class. Let history record that the 21st century, while perhaps off to a rough start, came through and perfected our dream for America.