The loyalty of Trump’s base is pretty impressive. The little boy twitter droppings, Russia connections, lies about Russia connections; and a cabinet full of Wall St. after all the anti-Wall St. campaign junk. The civil war that’s been stoked over the course of a generation by right wing disinfo machine shows no signs of dissipating. Where does this level of mutual hatred and resentment lead? If a reality zone movement doesn’t kick in soon on both sides we’re in for a ride that no one is prepped for.
While red states legislate to keep Dem voters out of the voting booth, the Left’s fundamentalists don’t vote unless The One is on the ballot; and ideological rigidity turned “political correctness” into a punch line for Trump to normalize racist scapegoating and white supremacy.
Stress + stupid = tribalism. Stress + stupid + demagogues = civil war.
The identity politics of the Left achieved a peaceful revolution toward equality. But seeing the tribalist instinct as a purely American disease as opposed to a global human dysfunction made it too easy to villainize an entire demographic and go tribal against what had been a major Democratic constituency. Until the Lefty Heaven On Earth comes about, we’re stuck with voting as the primary MO.
The critique of identity politics does not minimize its victories or deny the prevalence of bigotry in our society and its effects on millions of citizens. The critique is a call to examine our own instinct for bias and the damage it does to our own mission. Recognizing working class white torment doesn’t cancel out awareness of everyone else’s.
And then there’s the Right wing free-market theology – I’m a fan of free market capitalism too but it exists today in the US only as a fairytale. We’d shifted back to colonial-era monopolism by the 1880s. Hey, before honking about the socialist tyranny of Obamacare and the curative power of our free market utopia take this quiz:
1. Are you sick of the soaring monthlies for crappy cable service? Time to shop for a new account. Check out the competition in your area. You can choose from a list of:
A. 20 cable companies
B. 10 cable companies
C. 6 cable companies
D. 3 cable companies
E. Less than 3, more than 1 if you’re lucky
2. How many shops at the shopping mall are NOT chain stores?
B. 10% or much less
3. You can get a bottle of 300 aspirins online or in a drug store for less than $13. Do the hospitals near you charge $10, $18 or $20 for a single aspirin? Do they offer a comprehensible price list so you can compare?
If the answers are 1-E, 2-B, 3-B you are not living in a free market capitalist system. It’s a monopoly based capitalist system. Might have something to do with the fading out of the middle class and our corporate-owned legislatures.
How much science do you believe in?
1. Do you imagine you’re seeing football players flopping around on that screen in your living room?
2. Do you believe that Saturn has rings and Mars is reddish?
3. Do you grab an umbrella on your way out in the morning because the weather report predicted rain?
If you answered yes – congratulations! You are a true believer in virtually every scientific theory of the past half dozen centuries. Your beliefs would have gotten you a reservation on a burning stake for defying the Christian deity back when government wasn’t declaring war on religion.
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren moved economics back toward the Left’s front burner. Bernie showed that the contemporary Democratic Socialist model of the high functioning part of Europe has traction. But he failed to convince even a majority of Dems that “socialism” isn’t a dirty word. The idea has legs but the tag breaks the knee caps. No way will he or anybody detoxify that word for an American voting majority for at least a generation or two. So change the wording.
Even “Democratic Socialism” is an alien concept. And forget about the ol’ time religion – that zesty pre-WW1 anarchy & Marxism thing. It’s like spinning Perry Como at the prom. Gotta let it go. Socialists saved the American working class a century ago. But those who benefitted believe it was capitalism that saved the day. It’s a semantic whirlpool. The term “workers” in the Marxist equation is from the mid-19th Century before workers owned houses and cars in the burbs and sent kids like me to college where they teach Marxism like it’s Santa Claus.
Since the white working class went to Reagan, they’ve voted continuously for their own collapse which they blame on Mexicans. That means the Left kinda blew it. So it’s time to let go of the delusion that the Dems and the GOP are one and the same so voting doesn’t matter. That gave us W who helped light the fuse in the Middle East apocalypse and rode a surplus treasury straight into the Great Recession. And now Trump. Not voting for the far-less-than-ideal Hillary put a climate change denier at the head of the EPA, a racist clown to run the Justice Dept, sent the highest courts to Stupidville for at least a generation. That’s as much the fault of the Left for dumb-ass voting ideology as the Right for voting for an ignorant sociopath.
The GOP and right wing media know all the rage cues. Insults from Lefties is one of them so why go there? How many facts do you listen to when they’re delivered with insults? Trump knows how to speak to the white working class. It really came down to that. I mean that in a way that doesn’t include racist memes. The Dems and the Left don’t bother. That’s the arrogance of bigotry.
Everybody on both the Right and Left swims in the same gene pool. Everyday life in New York City is astoundingly different from that of the rural South and Midwest. That means there will be a different way of experiencing the world. That’s OK. Both ways can be accommodated for the most part. For the small part that can’t be – too goddamn bad. That doesn’t mean Nazi Germany. It means life on Earth.
— Polar Levine, News Goo Dissection, October 2, 2017
© Polar Levine 2017 content should not be reproduced elsewhere without prior permission