Progressive Westerners support the Dalai Lama and autonomy for Tibet and its people, fearful that the Tibetan culture, centered on Buddhism and and the uniqueness which comes from living on the high plateau, will disappear as the Chinese increasingly inhabit and occupy the country. Actor Richard Gere is a spokesperson for the International Campaign for Tibet, speaking out for the Tibetan people and their rights. Preserving cultures at risk like that of the Tibetans finds much support among progressives.
And who are these downtrodden middle class Americans that Bernie Sanders and Robert Reich are standing up for? Brian Goacher and the very “bigots” supporting Donald Trump, threatening to split the Republican party, and turning against the very principles on which our government was created. Our founding fathers were, many of them, slave holders, and yet they wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The Constitution can hold that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” The first amendment can state, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” But the Constitution also said, “No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.” Slaves can run away, but the free states are obligated to return them to their masters. Shrinking from mentioning the word slavery, the creators of the Constitution also wrote, “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.” As Donald Trump trumpeted, the blessed FDR approved shipping American citizens of Japanese descent into concentration camps; California passed An Act to Protect Free White Labor Against Competition with Chinese Coolie Labor, and to Discourage The Immigration of the Chinese into the State of California; the US followed with the Chinese Exclusion Act, ”one of the most significant restrictions on free immigration in US History. The Irish faired little better. When Barry Goldwater, principled conservative, ran for president and was looking for votes, he noted that when duck hunting, you go where the ducks are. And Saint Ronald used code words like state’s rights and forced busing similarly to appeal to the white working class. Ian Haney Lopez called it Dog Whistle Politics. Donald Trump is just more direct.