Henry Wallace said the 20th should be the ‘century of the common man’. It wasn’t. Nor is this one.
This one opened with a ‘war on terror’ whose only legacy (and perhaps, only goal) was to curb whatever rights and protections the common man had secured before September 11, 2001. Including privacy, free-speech, trial, and status as civilians.
Wallace was a sincere and able politician. So the alleged party of the common man -then, the Democrats- made sure it wasn’t his century, either. Trump, in contrast, is as fake and incompetent as it gets. He rules by tantrum, and thinks the world should pout with him. And he’s willing to gas us all for a few coal-dollars more. Despite what they say, the Democrats want to let him cry it out. After all, he’s only there because he appealed to the common man. It’s easier just to clear the room (particularly the chat room), than upstage him.
Of course, Democrats prefer their stalled occupation, to the Right’s total war. Paradoxically, the last few weeks they spent all they could, convincing us these midterms would decide, in absolute terms, the future of democracy, perhaps even -with our climate-chances narrowing- humankind, itself. So, show faith in the stalled party?
This remarkably-indecisive war to end all wars just happened to coincide with the anniversary of peace in WWI. With the midterms now over, the trenches seem as much advanced now as in 1918. The ‘Blue Wave’, which I doubt anyone really expected, gently rocked the House -the ‘lower’ branch. Meanwhile, the Senate got worse, the court and cabinet had already, hence, so can Trump.
Mind, a Pyhrric loss is still a win for the DNC, as it highlights their only excuses for running -Trump and the Republicans- without raising hopes that a Democratic majority also wouldn’t fulfill. But what sucks is all the liberal hype about him marching us up to 1939 does 1) squat to contain the horror he actually brings. 2) invites the few horrors he doesn’t. Namely, the ones the Democrats had mastered, already.
Better colonialists know, when it fails, best to tuck your tail between your legs with dignity. The British, for example. The next day the Guardian aired the opinion of thawed-leftover, Simon Tisdall. Tisdall thinks we should stop insulting Trump, since he’s either immune or benefits. Moreover, we should stop calling his voters stupid, racist, or deplorable. But before you mistake politeness for supplication -or worse, common sense- the headline was a front. His content blamed the common folk for troves of on-line misinformation (which, somehow, only push us to the Right), and appealed to the state and to social-media companies to find ways to assure, next round, the rabble have less say.
What clearer proof is there that liberals have no intention of making waves, than hearing them tell us not to make them? The answer: the very next article. Right below Tisdall’s bad advice, Michael Fuchs’ essay, Democracies Everywhere are Backsliding, We Must Unite To Survive listlessly argues for making America, once again, a beacon. Not really an essay, more a plug for (John Podesta’s think-tank) The Center for Creative Democracy’s recent report, Securing a Democratic World: The Case for a Democratic Values Based US Foreign Policy, which Fuchs co-authored.
The report is the left-neoliberal’s cry MAGA (Make America Global Again). Fuchs is explicit, it’s not Bush and Cheney ‘making the world safe for democracy’ by sewing discord and revolution. It’s about making it safe by preventing…? we’ll, he’s explicit what it’s not. Mostly what it is, is slop about values-based foreign policy and leading by example, down the road. Only solid point it makes is for sizable increases to the National Endowment of Democracy, and similar -notoriously, anti-democratic- institutions. And it calls for a ‘multi-billion dollar Democratic Strategic Advantage Initiative …to coordinate current security cooperation -from arms sales to military training to technology transfer- to give democracies strategic edge over authoritarian regimes’.
OK, it sounds exactly like Bush and Cheney. Except this time the biggest threat isn’t Jihad. Nor is it greenhouse gas, unemployment, or the drug trade. It’s common people being suckered by demagogues like, and including, Trump. OK, really its just more imperialism.
Democracy must, must be defended (abroad). Of course, ‘this can’t happen in earnest’, he says, ‘until Trump is out of office’. So much for leading by example. Trump is the crisis, the problem to be …waited out?
What? It won’t take two or six years for the caravan to meet Trump’s combat-ready border patrol. It won’t take menaces like Ryan Zinke and Betsy Devos that long to destroy their agencies, even if they stop trying. It won’t take another 12 years for the Earth to warm a couple degrees if Trump’s in office for much part of it. And I doubt a half-decade could pass without him tweeting the launch codes.
On the other hand, it wouldn’t take China and Russia that long to beat us, if things are as Fuchs claims. So, if he’s willing to wait it out, it means things are not. But, unlike Tisdall, Fuchs never gets around to saying why. But the fact that he and his cohorts can’t tell basic categories like democracy from empire is probably enough indication. While there are myriad reasons to resist Trump, the prestige of America’s global meddling is the one thing we shouldn’t be protecting. Fact is, the report shows little interest, in fact scarcely mentions, common people at all. And unlike Trump, they haven’t the slightest idea how to sell used cars.
It’s not news that the Democrats aren’t the solution to our Trump problems, but I guess it hasn’t really sunk in. In sum, listening to the Democrats tell you to be patient is unwise. But in fairness, listening to them tell you to act also runs risks. Rumor has it, people were in the streets protesting Jeff Sessions getting fired. What!!! The rigorously-unintelligent theocratic/ run of the mill bigot that bought his way in, and whose main/ only achievement was to nix police reform is now -like the CIA- a Liberal icon! Don’t blame the common man for that. I didn’t hear about it on facebook. I read it in the Guardian. And no common man on his own would mind Sessions being fired. Not if it was from a cannon, point blank at a wall. Common folk know to pick they’re battles and fear zealous judges.
There are myriad reasons to resist Trump. The fact that we’re threatened with extinction, the most obvious. But the Democrats, even if they put forth some measures, haven’t met any of the necessary goals they, themselves set to avoid it. They can’t prevent family separations here and cause them in Honduras. They can’t prevent election fraud -real frauds, like gerrymandering, judicial decree, voting-machine pattens, and the electoral college- yet waste time suing Russia, blaming hicks, and begging shit-tons of corporate money. And if they don’t like having a president that grabs women by the pussy, they need to stop engineering a system where the rich can grab anything they want.
But losing isn’t enough to convince them. When will it be enough to convince us?