• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

A generous CounterPuncher has offered a $25,000 matching grant. So for this week only, whatever you can donate will be doubled up to $25,000! If you have the means, please donate! If you already have done so, thank you for your support. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

An Indecisive War To End All Wars, I Mean the Midterm Elections

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?

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
October 16, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
How Turkey’s Invasion of Syria Backfired on Erdogan
Chitrangada Choudhury – Aniket Aga
How Cotton Became a Headache in the Age of Climate Chaos
Jack Rasmus
US-China Mini-Trade Deal: Trump Takes the Money and Runs
Michael Welton
Communist Dictatorship in Our Midst
Robert Hunziker
Extinction Rebellion Sweeps the World
Peter A. Coclanis
Donald Trump as Artist
Chris Floyd
Byzantium Now: Time-Warping From Justinian to Trump
Steve Klinger
In For a Dime, in For a Dollar
Gary Leupp
The Maria Ramirez Story
Kim C. Domenico
It Serves Us Right To Suffer: Breaking Down Neoliberal Complacency
Kiley Blackman
Wildlife Killing Contests are Unethical
Colin Todhunter
Bayer Shareholders: Put Health and Nature First and Stop Funding This Company!
Andrés Castro
Looking Normal in Kew Gardens
October 15, 2019
Victor Grossman
The Berlin Wall, Thirty Years Later
Raouf Halaby
Kurdish Massacres: One of Britain’s Many Original Sins
Robert Fisk
Trump and Erdogan have Much in Common – and the Kurds will be the Tragic Victims of Their Idiocy
Ron Jacobs
Betrayal in the Levant
Wilma Salgado
Ecuador: Lenin Moreno’s Government Sacrifices the Poor to Satisfy the IMF
Ralph Nader
The Congress Has to Draw the Line
William A. Cohn
The Don Fought the Law…
John W. Whitehead
One Man Against the Monster: John Lennon vs. the Deep State
Lara Merling – Leo Baunach
Sovereign Debt Restructuring: Not Falling Prey to Vultures
Norman Solomon
The More Joe Biden Stumbles, the More Corporate Democrats Freak Out
Jim Britell
The Problem With Partnerships and Roundtables
Howard Lisnoff
More Incitement to Violence by Trump’s Fellow Travelers
Binoy Kampmark
University Woes: the Managerial Class Gets Uppity
Joe Emersberger
Media Smears, Political Persecution Set the Stage for Austerity and the Backlash Against It in Ecuador
Thomas Mountain
Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed Wins Nobel Peace Prize, But It Takes Two to Make Peace
Wim Laven
Citizens Must Remove Trump From Office
October 14, 2019
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
Class Struggle is Still the Issue
Mike Miller
Global Climate Strike: From Protest To Power?
Patrick Cockburn
As Turkey Prepares to Slice Through Syria, the US has Cleared a New Breeding Ground for Isis
John Feffer
Trump’s Undeclared State of Emergency
Dean Baker
The Economics and Politics of Financial Transactions Taxes and Wealth Taxes
Jonah Raskin
What Evil Empire?
Nino Pagliccia
The Apotheosis of Emperors
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A Passion for Writing
Basav Sen
The Oil Despots
Brett Wilkins
‘No Friend But the Mountains’: A History of US Betrayal of the Kurds
John Kendall Hawkins
Assange: Enema of the State
Scott Owen
Truth, Justice and Life
Thomas Knapp
“The Grid” is the Problem, Not the Solution
Rob Kall
Republicans Are Going to Remove Trump Soon
Cesar Chelala
Lebanon, Dreamland
Weekend Edition
October 11, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Becky Grant
CounterPunch in Peril?
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail