Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association (MTEA) / Flickr right to dream protect daca...
Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association (MTEA) / Flickr

Relax, just breathe, breeeeeeathe. The title doesn’t mean that Trump is sending the men in black helicopters after your dick. That “Johnson” was a reference to President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Jeez, how did I get the Andrew “Dice” Clay crowd in the house for this show?

Not every President to be sure, but occasionally a President in office is faced with a situation, the outcome of which will alter not only life, but politics literally for a generation. Woody Harrelson beautifully plays the scene in LBJ where the enactment of landmark civil rights legislation is assured. An adviser is grinning like a Cheshire cat, Johnson turns to look at him, and drawls; “I don’t know what the fuck you’re so happy about, we just lost the south for a generation.” As it turns out Johnson couldn’t have been more wrong. A generation is 20 years, we are now midway through our third generation of a deep “red” south.

We are now at one of life and politic’s “generational moments.” The civil rights moment for this generation, and the result will alter the political landscape for at least the next 20 years. Believe it or not, it wasn’t Trump, to my mind, that instigated this moment, although he certainly hastened its arrival with his anti immigrant, “throw em out” rhetoric. To my mind, the table was set for this moment when the favorite President of my lifetime, Barack Obama, signed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA Executive Order. Obama knew then he put pen to paper that this was not going to be a permanent fix, and that is was quite possibly unconstitutional, but he wanted to force this issue into the national consciousness, force the congress to act once and for all on what he considered a generational humanitarian issue. Trump, with his racist and anti immigrant rhetoric, and his action on terminating the DACA order has brought the immigration volcano to the eruption point. And he and the GOP are going to get buried in the lava of it.

There is one striking difference between Johnson’s civil rights legislation of the 60’s, and the current DACA and immigration issue before us today. The south that LBJ ‘lost for a generation” was already at that time, and is more so today, a shrinking demographic. The south that LBJ ‘lost” was the white population of the south. In the 60’s, African Americans were the fastest growing demographic in the United States, and terrifying southern whites with the thought of losing political dominance in “the white Christian way of life.” African American political power continues to grow in the south, and if/when the Supreme Court brings the downfall of political gerrymandering, which is already happening at the state level in places like Texas and North Carolina, those states will begin to turn blue, it’s just a matter of time.

As Trump prepares to attempt to bring US immigration policy back to the political stone age, African Americans are no longer the fastest growing demographic. Hispanics are now the fastest growing ethnic demographic, and some studies show them possibly obtaining numerical parity with whites as early as the end of a potential second Trump term. And Trump and the GOP want to piss off every single one of them by kicking 1.8 million of their innocent children out of the country. There is an almost “dark paradise” symmetry to the GOP dance to oblivion on this, permanently alienating a demographic that you must have to win future elections, to please a demographic that is already shrinking, and will continue to shrink, not only due to the actuarial tables, but to live births as well. Face it, black and brown people are having more babies than white people are, and guess what? Each and every one of them is an American citizen when they exit the womb and draw their first breath.

Texas has a rapidly growing Hispanic population, as do Arizona, Nevada, and Florida. And so will any stable agricultural state where the farmers and agra combines want to continue to grow their businesses. They serve your food in restaurants, drive the taco trucks that put Taco Bell and Roberto’s to shame. They make your beds in hotels, and they mow the grass and trim the hedges and trees at your homes and offices. And the racist beliefs of mental troglodytes like Trump, John Kelly, and Stephen Miller notwithstanding, they’re no dummies. Hispanic kids are every bit as smart as anybody else’s kids, and once they start graduating college in large numbers and getting good paying jobs in growing sectors, the demographics are going to change even more.

And they’ve already proved that they’re no idjits. Trump and the GOP may not read or understand history, but the Hispanics have already shown that they sure as hell do, and they understand it too. Hispanics have learned the hard fought black civil rights lesson of progress through political power, and they learned it both quickly and well. Groups like Maria Teresa Kumar’s Voto Latino are mobilizing, not only to apply public pressure, but to register and turn out Latino voters to the ballot box, the most effective use of political power that there is. And the incredible surge and effectiveness of DACA advocacy groups have literally forced lawmakers of both political parties to step up and sign their names on one side of the DACA ledger or the other. And they’re not going to forget which side they fell on.

Right now, if you take shutting down the government out of the equation, damn near as many citizens want these kids protected and taken care of as want universal gun background checks. The problem for the GOP, as the NRA well knows, is the pro gun lobby is an at best stable, if not shrinking base of paranoid “single issue” voters who hold everybody else in the country hostage. The threat of, or actual commission of removing 1.8 million innocent children from our borders will will turn a rapidly growing Hispanic population into “single issue” voters too, and while their memories will be just as long, their power will only increase, not decrease. And as Latino immigrants spread out to greener pastures, as well as higher paying jobs and homes, the anti GOP swell is going to affect not only national elections in the future, but more importantly, state and local elections as well. And just in time for the two election cycles that will determine control of redistricting maps in 2021.Love and compassion almost never kill anybody, but hatred and racism do, and right now the GOP is poised to put that gun to their party’s head.

LBJ was right, he lost the Democrats the south for a generation, and then some. But Lyndon Johnson did it for the right reasons, Principles, tolerance, and equality, the very tenets this country is founded upon. Trump and his racist enablers are about to make a generational decision, but on the wrong side, and for the wrong reasons. Try as they might to stop it, the country is becoming a more tolerant and inclusive place. Discrimination only works for as long as the two sides are kept separated, and integration is doing its job. When the goosesteppers, Klansmen, and blind haters are finally buried under the avalanche of equality and social justice by Trump and his cabal, pray only that they never manage to burrow back to the surface and pop their heads out again. Here endeth the lesson.

Liked it? Take a second to support Joseph "Murfster35" Murphy on Patreon!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here