Race Wars

By Bill Maher

There’s this battle cry among southern rednecks, “The South will rise again!” And if you look at the ascension of the Tea Party and Donald Trump and all the policies that go along with it, it kinda seems like that’s exactly what’s happening. But before you start worrying that all of America is turning into one big rerun of “The Dukes of Hazzard,” consider some of the metrics of the Republican Party. They’re rural constituents are getting older, they’re feeling the brunt of Republican economic policies and they’re losing their battles against progressive social justice.

To see where the Republicans’ rural, redneck control of America is headed, look no farther than Nascar. The Wall Street Journal recently featured this headline: “Nascar, Once a Cultural Icon, Hits the Skids… Stock-car racing’s popularity declines amid ‘economics and demographics.’”

Nothing reflects the defiant inanity of Southern/rural culture like the loud, fossil-fuel-burning spectacle of Nascar. And it’s dying. The fans, like Republicans in general, are getting older and dying off, economics are squeezing them to the point where they can’t afford the ticket prices and a changing cultural attitude makes it so they can’t attend races with Confederate flags and celebrate race events with drunken all-night keg parties.

More WSJ: “Since 2005, Nascar’s television viewership is down 45%... Tracks have torn out about a fourth of their seats to look fuller but still have wide stretches of empty bleachers on race days.  Nascar’s fan base, largely working-class and white, is getting older overall and was hit harder by the recession than the more-affluent fan bases in other major sports… [I]n 2015 [there was] a ban on flying the Confederate flag at races.”

Certainly gerrymandering, a rigged Electoral College system and voter suppression can keep the Republicans’ liver-spotted hand on the lever of power for now, but isn’t it clear that, just like with Nascar, over time something has got to give?