Perhaps on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, it is appropriate to contemplate the turning page of history encapsulated in the events of this week. Dr. King stands as a figure of history that every side has attempted to co-opt for their cause. Obviously, the left has been most successful at capturing his adherents, but every group you can think of has tried to make him a part of their fight – including Republicans.
Most Republicans worth their salt will quickly tell you that King was a registered Republican. They’ll likely (and correctly) also point out that a majority of Republicans supported the Civil Rights Act while a majority of Democrats did not. However, Dr. King was not so easily defined. His fight was one of social justice, and in many ways anathema to the conservative ideology of the Right. Not that conservatives are against social equality, they just aren’t too excited about implementing Socialism in order to get it. Dr. King’s views and statements are mixed and often didn’t neatly fit inside a political ideology, as partisans would like.
Regardless, Dr. King’s efforts appeared to turn the page in history. But, did they really? The scourge of slavery was a physical one, and often started with their own people selling them out. Powerful interests capitalized on the trade in order to achieve their own purposes. This physical oppression continued with the Jim Crow era that Dr. King was so desperate to overturn. His success, however, seems to only have resulted in trading the physical oppression for the political kind.
With leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson selling them out to the liberal interests of the left, much of black America remains enslaved to a failed ideology that usually opposes their own personal beliefs.
This week, we will inaugurate a President with, seemingly, the least prior political experience of any in history. Donald Trump’s election marks the first time in a long time that the people have stood up against all of the political establishment, thumbed their noses at them, and elected an outsider. While the Republican establishment has clamored to his side (“we were with you the whole time!”), he does not fit so easily into a political ideology. Even though conservatives (like me) vigorously supported his campaign, there are those who would point out areas where he’s not truly conservative. Like Dr. King, his fight has not come from ideology, but rather a response to oppression. In this case, The People feeling railroaded by their own unresponsive government.
It’s a turning of the page of history. Let us pray that we do not merely trade one oppression for another.