Donald J. Trump is the white mans' last stand, or at least I think many of his supporters look at him that way. If you understand that, you understand why they voted for such an unqualified disaster of a candidate, and you understand why they'll kill police officers to save him.
While newspapers, books and movies celebrate the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, and the women's rights movement, there is a kind of white man for whom each one of those things was a defeat.
For those people, advancing equality wasn't a victory FOR all of us, it was a loss suffered BY straight, white men and their spouses.
And the losses kept coming.
Black heavyweight champion. All-black sports teams. Black senator. Hispanic mayor. Gay cop. Female senator. Female gay senator. The first black man on your job. The first female boss you ever had.
The answer to discriminatory hiring was "un-American affirmative action," as some call it, the government's fumble-fingered attempt at reversing a couple hundred years of oppression. Affirmative action would never have been necessary if companies willingly hired and promoted women, African Americans and gays. Companies have no problem keeping African Americans out of jobs but weep great salty tears when forced to reverse their bad hiring practices.
To the white man or woman on the ground (and likely to stay there), it's hard not to see the progress as the loss of guaranteed jobs, guaranteed all-white neighborhoods, a largely white National Football League, and the dreaded Walmart unisex bathroom where transsexuals hang from the ceiling like vampire bats.
A black president was the one insult that could not be endured, the one loss that was too much, and a great number of Americans (though not a majority), responded to a dark-skinned president by electing a fat, crude, white boss straight out of 1952.
Down on the ground, in the places where you find the check-cashing storefronts, everything that is taken from you goes to someone else, and there isn't nearly enough to go around, or at least there isn't if white people get four pieces out of every six-piece pie, leaving the rest of us with two pieces to split too many ways.
And it does no good to say there's enough pie to go around if everyone gets an equal-sized piece because the people who used to get the bigger pieces don't like getting smaller pieces, not even if the smaller piece is not that much smaller.
And so we fight, and we scrap, and we brawl over the integration of Major League Baseball as though it made a difference, and we defend Aunt Jemima as though she were Lady Liberty herself because losing even a syrup label that glorifies slavery is another loss to white people.
Turn civil rights on its head, and you see the terrible story some white people tell ourselves, a story of post office jobs going to "them," of the flight from all-white segregated Chicago neighborhoods that could no longer keep dreaded African Americans out, of the female boss who controls you the way the boss always has but is not, by God, a man.
It binds and it chafes and it grinds because everything you and your father and your grandfather took for granted now belongs, at least in part, to the "other." Even the seal and the office of the president of the United States of America is not safe.
And so, in one last convulsive heave of effort, a great number of white people pushed back against the hand on the clock, striving to stop time, and maybe push it back a little.
That seldom works. Push against history's second hand, and you will either fail to stop it or you will break the clock.
Soldiers patrol Washington, D.C., gaining minutes for the people who are desperately trying to fix the clock.
To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion, and read features by other Creators.Com writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's latest book, a timely collection of his best columns, is called "Devil's Elbow: Dancing in the Ashes of America." It is available in paperback from Amazon.com, and for Nook, Kindle, GooglePlay and iBooks.