Biden Revenge? When Small Farmers Embraced Fascism, they hoped we would forget

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VT: The Guardian editorial below criticizes Biden for picking a corporate agriculture ‘yes man’ as Secretary of Agriculture. Trump did the same, frankly ten times worse. What reality does Biden see that the Guardian didn’t?

Small farm America embraced racism, bigotry and full fledged fascism under Trump. They formed militias, they poured money into the coffers of criminal evangelical freaks, they supported police killings and are now still with Trump hoping to overthrow the government.

None of us will forget.

In West Michigan or Northern Ohio, where I have been stuck during the pandemic, as soon as you left civilization, it began. It wasn’t just Trump signs, where many of them are still standing. They went further.

Hand painted “All Lives Matter” signs, which advocate police killings of minorities…and that is what they are meant to do…and the fake American flags with blue strips, denoting support of a fascist police state…are still everywhere. Businesses, most of them, that draped their buildings with Trump banners have removed them, all but a few.

75% of farmers voted for Trump despite the fact he devastated small agriculture with his trade wars. Climate disasters hit farmers as well who are too stupid to understand climate, as listening for Limbaugh for decades has left them mentally addled.

The biggest year since the Great Depression for farm bankruptcies was 2019, according to the American Farm Bureau, all due to Trump policies that punished farmers who continued to support him in 2020.

Too stupid to live…

The Indy Star has a great article on this, you can read it here.

The rest of us are sick of America’s small farmers until “they” can make it clear that “they” are willing to get onboard with America. With armies of maskless gun toting morons creeping into our towns and cities, blocking hospitals, threatening public officials, bringing with them their local meth dealing sheriffs…

Yes, the rest of us recognize the new rural Coalition Of Ignorance, small town thugs and criminals now outfitted as Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, standing hand in hand with police…

Who are police?

Think of a time when America had real factories, union factories, and made real things. We don’t do that so much anymore but we used to. Back then, some couldn’t hold jobs in factories, too hard, too much work, too much thinking. The most backward of White America, those who refused honest work, always became police.

It was always surprising how easily “country fucks” would befriend ghetto drug dealers. If you are used to screwing sheep or your own little sister, a free ride with a street whore is a big deal.

This is exactly what we are dealing with, this is exactly who these people are.

A career in “law enforcement” was always a hedge against a life spent living in the trailer behind the bar as “crazy Uncle Bud.”

Then there’s the religion thing. Crazy is likely genetic and when the US became as we know it, divided, back in the early 19th century, crazy settled in the South. After the war, it moved West, and during World War II, it moved North as well, setting up in areas like Macomb County, Michigan. America’s factories were run by Hungarians, Germans and Poles, people who understood industrial work and could be trained. Then came the hillbillies.

This is what deindustrialized America, hillbillies who hid behind the labor unions built by the Hungarians, Germans and Poles who really worked. Hillbillies destroyed machines, produced only scrap, came to work drunk and never brought home a paycheck.

Their families built generations on ADC and welfare as they migrated from alcohol to hard drugs and from failed factory work to job shops and service industries. The communities they built we still have, hellholes of rusted cars and broken families, all centered around evangelical churches.

Eventually, they all moved north, settling in Antrim County, Cheboygan, across Northern Michigan where nearly 2 million now live, unemployment at 25%, mile upon mile of 70 year old trailers. This is where the militias come from, that and the die hard Trumpsters.

They built the America of small farms, interspersed with 3 generation old “pass throughs,” who began in rural Tennessee, failed tenant farmers and coal miners, jailbirds and drunks, failed auto workers and now the heart and soul of Trumpland rural America, the people seen at Trump rallies and protests, ignorant, violent, bigoted and backward.

From the Guardian:

Biden’s pick for agriculture secretary raises serious red flags

Tom Vilsack is a corporate yes man and former lobbyist with a dismal record in his previous time as secretary. This is appalling

It’s unlikely that Joe Biden expected that, of all his cabinet nominees, his choice for US agriculture secretary would cause the most blowback. Yet that is exactly what happened.

The former secretary Tom Vilsack, fresh off the revolving door, is a kind of all-in-one package of what frustrates so many about the Democratic party. His previous tenure leading the department was littered with failures, ranging from distorting data about Black farmers and discrimination to bowing to corporate conglomerates.

To keep the Democratic coalition together, Biden will have to be the Great Balancer.

Vilsack’s nomination has been roundly rejected by some of the exact people who helped Biden defeat Trump: organizations representing Black people, progressive rural organizations, family farmers and environmentalists. If the Biden team was looking for ways to unite the multi-racial working class, they have done so – in full-throated opposition to this pick.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Vilsack will not be the friend of the small farmer, in fact he is there to ensure agri-business can be maintained over smart agriculture practices.

    Probably the department with the easiest choice, the simplest decision, and an obvious path forward, will completely disregard intelligence and side with machine production and monoculture. I just bought one of the old barns, a real beauty , 10,000 sq ft, 6 acres two spring fed streams,..the whole thing was under 30 grand. I’m happy and disgusted at the same time,.it’s bizarre how farmers have been attacked and food supply lines have been constricted, which is dumb on its face for any living creature.

  2. It is immature boys playing Marines.
    But they are just like Donny the draft dodger, the Mango Mussolini the prince of depends. 4F !
    Not Suitable For The Marine Corps !
    The wanna be Soldiers are acting out some sort of brown shirt fascist fantasy.
    Before they start a civil war,
    they should ask a Combat Veteran about war.
    We will tell you it like living in Hell.
    And you don’t get to go home to Mom’s house, after the fight

    • That all started not with these clowns but when as Heinrich Böll wrote, corporatists started wearing wing-tipped jackboots.

  3. Those dudes don’t look like farmers to me, Gordon. The old coots I grew up with worked their butts off milking cows twice a day, every day, no vacations, and no sick days. On the run from starvation in Sweden, they formed coops, shared their machinery, and were innovative enough to use windmills to power dynamos to give them electricity even before there was such a thing as the grid. That all came apart when the big corporations like Frigo put them out of business in the 1960s. They had nothing to leave their kids except dilapidated old barns and machinery.

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