White American paternalism has been around for a very long time

How the Founding Fathers dealt with the issue of owning human has a lot to do with the politics of the Country since its founding to the modern era.

This WaPo article on the attempts of a living African-American to discover his family history is the bridge between American paternalism past and present. William England discovered his great grandmother was conceived by a slave who was impregnated by her owner, an Alabaman legislator who figured prominently in the antebellum South’s history. Ella Clay, England’s great grandmother was just another slave to her white father as far as the man who conceived her was concerned. England seemed to want to attribute some humanity to the father of his great grandmother by saying he allowed her to have her wedding in his house. Of course she went on to live a life of slavery and slavish subservience to white paternalism. Rape of enslaved women by white masters was common during the years of slavery. It was a way to staff the work force and increase the wealth of the rapist because the product of such violence was always deemed a slave and slaves were by far the biggest asset of plantation owners.

Nineteeenth century American white male paternalism resembles present day Right male paternalism in the way men of today interact with women and the human beings that interaction creates. The anti-abortion movement says women have no recourse, legal or otherwise in what happens to their bodies, regardless whether it is through rape or incest or physical threats to womens’ bodies while men who rape and ravish them go on living lives full of choices. These men have a choice whether to be responsible for their children or their sexual partners or completely abandon them a la Herschel Walker et co. and continue the commercialization of women’s bodies. Whereas genteel Southern men could copulate with women of color indiscriminately and dehumanize and enslave children from such a union 21st century Right males use women’s bodies for sexual pleasure and can absolve themselves of any responsibility to raise children, completely abandoning them to their sexual partners, the family of their partners or the State. These same Right males who bemoan the intrusion of the State in THEIR affairs don’t mind that the same state should take care of the human beings they leave behind. The right to rape women seems to be a common thread that runs in paternalism of the 19th through 21st century and women and the children they are forced to bear are the ones who suffer.

Finally this parting shot at southern culture and the myth of it being a righteous movement designed to advance a distinct, positive way of life of American life. Antebellum southern America resembles its MAGA successor in another key point and that is its adherence to myth and lies.  From the above mentioned article is this tidbit

Long after the war, the Clay family perpetuated a myth about life on Southern plantations. Virginia Clay — rumored to have had a long affair with Jefferson Davis — became a leader in the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the group that erected Confederate monuments across the South and idealized “The Lost Cause” in the early 20th century. Virginia’s memoir, “A Belle of the Fifties,” described the glittering social life she enjoyed before the end of slavery. The UDC promoted Virginia’s book across the country, helping create the perception that led to “Gone with the Wind” and generations of rosy pictures of a bygone Dixie.

The reliance on a lie and the immoral behavior of those who advance that lie seem to be another common data aspect antebellum southern white paternal America shares with MAGA Republican paternal of today’s America. Before, during and after American slavery the history of the country was steeped in death, the enslavement and disenfranchisement of people of color. Today’s right MAGA inspired movement seems to share similar goals of returning American culture to an antebellum paternalism.