FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Welcome to “Reality,” Kids

Berlin.

Last Tuesday, if you listened closely, you could hear it whoosh across the Internet, the enormous sigh of collective relief, as social liberals, center-leftists, and other “progressive Capitalism” fans received the news that it was finally over. Bernie Sanders and his fanatical legions of hopped-up, all-white hacky-sacking Bernie Bros had at last been banished from center stage, which the media immediately set about striking, and dressing over for the main event, wherein Hillary Clinton will save us all from Hitler.

I provided a preview of the upcoming season of America Saves the World Again (Trumpocalypse)! in these pages earlier, so I’m not going to go through all that again. Let’s just say, it’s going to be a doozy. According to the mainstream media, Trump and his army of downmarket racists are on the march and headed your way. The Guardian reports that frightened Americans are making plans to flee the country. The New York Times, Washington Post, and a host of other “serious broadsheets” are apparently competing to see who can get in the most Weimar Germany and Hitler references. Not to be outdone, Reuters reports that Trump is both Hitler and Mussolini. The latest is, former Bernie Bros, many of them anarchists and nihilists, are rumored to be defecting to Trump, mostly out of hatred for Clinton, and presumably affluent women generally. According to the New York Review of Books, we’re in a state of “national crisis.” I’m not kidding, you can google this stuff.

All of which, of course, is fantastic news for the mainstream media and social liberals. Imagine the emotional strain they’ve been under, having to pretend to feel uncomfortable about Clinton’s shady Wall Street ties, or pretending to approve of some of Sanders’ ideas … like single-payer healthcare for all Americans, free or affordable college tuition, and regulating the investment banks.

Put yourself in their shoes for a minute and imagine being forced to pretend to care about Obama and Clinton fomenting coups, and otherwise destabilizing other countries, or assassinating pretty much anyone they like, anywhere they like, with complete impunity, or unequivocally supporting the State of Israel, and our friends in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and whichever other despotic regimes we happen to be supporting at the moment.

Not that Sanders was ever going to change the nature of U.S. foreign policy, or be able to achieve his domestic agenda. As Jeffrey St. Clair wrote in his recent piece, this was always “a rhetorical revolution.” Words, however, do not amount to nothing … not completely nothing, anyway. And Sanders has been saying a lot of stuff that folks in the international spotlight are not supposed to talk about publicly, and definitely not on television.

See, the thing about being a social liberal is, it’s incredibly important to convince yourself that you actually care about other people, and that you’re not just mouthing whatever platitudes are making the rounds in liberals circles as you enjoy the fruits of global Capitalism, which at some level you know are being made possible by destroying a lot of other people’s lives, which you need to deny or rationalize somehow. Oh yes, it’s extremely complicated, and stressful, being a social liberal. It’s so much simpler for folks on the Right, who can come right out and admit they have no qualms about killing and exploiting other people, as long as they can profit from it.

Social liberals do not have this luxury. No, in order to continue to feel good about themselves, they have to twist themselves into emotional pretzels and tell themselves all kinds of crazy stories. One of their favorites is the one about “reality,” and being “an adult,” which means being a capitalist, as Capitalism, for them, is the only reality … it’s more or less a religious thing.

Mostly, these stories do the trick, as social liberals — like most other people — tend to socialize with others of their kind, and so reinforce whatever narrative their social circle is telling itself, which, of course, is how “reality” is created.

The only problem is, when you’re a social liberal (which you probably are because part of you still has not made its peace with dominating, exploiting and destroying a lot of other people in order to profit off their suffering), is that sometimes someone like Bernie Sanders starts running around all over the country, not to mention TV and the Internet, mouthing off about the corporate plutocracy, and demonstrating how American “democracy” is really just a giant simulation to dupe people into believing they’re “free.” For social liberals of all varieties — but particularly for the affluent variety — this has been extremely embarrassing, and emotionally triggering, and they would like it to stop.

Which is why the end of the Sanders campaign comes as such a relief for social liberals, especially for those in the mainstream media who have a “respectable” image to maintain. In order to justify shilling for Clinton, they have had to resort to some ridiculous tactics, like implying that Sanders and his supporters are racists, or that Sanders’ ideas (e.g. single-payer healthcare and free college tuition) are “unrealistic.” As any American who has spent time in Europe knows — I’ve lived in Berlin for close to twelve years now — most European countries provide these two things to their citizens and residents as a matter of course. And while Sanders clearly failed to connect with the majority of African Americans and Hispanics, incompetence doesn’t make one racist, or no more than average. It just makes one incompetent.

In any event, that’s all over now … or it will be soon, once Sanders concedes, and breaks the hearts of a lot of young Americans who were trying to play by the rules of the system … those whose faith in American democracy hadn’t already been crushed by Obama’s “Hope-and-Change” con. Which is sad, but … well, we can at least look forward to Hillary Clinton’s “Love-Trumps-Hate” thing, and to eight more years of corporate plutocracy dressed up as “historic progress.” Perhaps the Nobel Prize Committee will award her the Peace Prize for her “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples” and … whatever.

Welcome to “reality,” kids.

More articles by:

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23, is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at cjhopkins.com or  consentfactory.org.

Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
Robert Fantina
Democrats and the Mid-Term Elections
Joseph Flatley
The Fascist Creep: How Conspiracy Theories and an Unhinged President Created an Anti-Semitic Terrorist
Joseph Nevins
Twitter: Fast Track to the Id
William Hawes
Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds
Bob Wing
Toward Racial Justice and a Third Reconstruction
Ron Jacobs
Hunter S. Thompson: Chronicling the Republic’s Fall
Oscar Gonzalez
Stan Lee and a Barrio Kid
Jack Rasmus
Election 2018 and the Unraveling of America
Sam Pizzigati
The Democrats Won Big, But Will They Go Bold?
Yves Engler
Canada and Saudi Arabia: Friends or Enemies?
Cesar Chelala
Can El Paso be a Model for Healing?
Mike Ferner
The Tragically Misnamed Paris Peace Conference
Barry Lando
Trump’s Enablers: Appalling Parallels
Jasmine Aguilera
Beto’s Lasting Legacy
Ariel Dorfman
The Boy Who Taught Me About War and Peace
Yves Engler
Ottawa, Yemen and Guardian
Michael Winship
This Was No Vote Accident
Binoy Kampmark
The Disgruntled Former Prime Minister
Tracey L. Rogers
Dear White Women, There May be Hope for You After All
Faisal Khan
Is Dubai Really a Destination of Choice?
Arnold August
The Importance of Néstor García Iturbe, Cuban Intellectual
James Munson
An Indecisive War To End All Wars, I Mean the Midterm Elections
Nyla Ali Khan
Women as Repositories of Communal Values and Cultural Traditions
Thomas Knapp
Scott Gottlieb’s Nicotine Nazism Will Kill Kids, Not Save Them
Dan Bacher
Judge Orders Moratorium on Offshore Fracking in Federal Waters off California
Christopher Brauchli
When Depravity Wins
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail