We also understand American history differently.

Once upon a time I understood American constitutional history as an ever-expanding sense of who is included in "We the People."

We started with white land-owning white men.
Under Andrew Jackson, we included all white men. . .
1/ https://twitter.com/BitchHartha/status/1233249204899696642
The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments (Civil War Amendments) expanded "We the People" to include black men in theory.

The 19th Amendment included women.

Brown v. Board, and the Civil Rights movement expanded "we the people" to include all ethnicities.

In fact . . .

. . . that was how I pitched my "Making of America" series of books to my publisher: https://terikanefield.com/the-making-of-america/

I imagined US history is an arc bending toward greater justice as more people come to be included in “we the people.”

I imagined history was an upward slope, like this:

Now I understand that other people see American history in the complete opposite way.

In the beginning there was almost no federal government. Privileged white men had almost complete personal liberty.

The frontier was a place all white men could grab land. There were very few rules.

They could grab people and enslave them.
Before modern rape and sexual harassment laws, they could grab women.

Before federal agencies and regulations, they could manipulate markets.

The reactionaries see American history like this:

Trump and his pals are literally trying to destroy the entire government because that's the way to take us back to the good old days when white men could grab whatever they wanted.

They hate all those rules and agencies.

Now I understand that graph looks like this.

We push forward, and the reactionaries push backwards.

We build agencies, we create rules for fairness, they hate the agencies and break the rules.

It never ends, unless we all give up.

The "again" in Make America Great Again signifies reactionist politics, a desire to go backwards.

Given the size and complexity of our government the only way to go backwards is to dismantle and destroy.

I also understand the battle has to be fought in each generation. . .

Because the reactionaries are not going away.
You can follow @Teri_Kanefield.
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