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Thursday, March 10, 2016
There's a disturbance in the Force.
Political turmoil, down here in the weeds.
On both sides of the aisle.
It's enough of an anomaly that the more mainstream political webnits have noticed it, and began to parse it.
I agree with a lot of the assessment that has arisen: that the Bases of both Parties are at war with themselves, with the battle lines drawn in each between the Establishment, and the Populists.
I've spent most of my time on line in Democratic/Liberal places, but I did manage to wander into a duck blind or two just past the frontier of the more rabid portions of the intertubes...
On the Right, it's Panic Time...with just about the level of hypocrisy and incoherence that you would expect.
Pretend Real Hard that you're not the party of assholes, racists and dog whistling...and cast sidelong glances at your audience of angry morons, to see if it takes.(really...watch them on youtube)
But Trump doesn't give a damn, and neither does his Mob.
Trump is the Apocalypse, the Veil has been rent.
...and look at the tiny misshapen man behind it!(turtle-like, even)
The Republican Base has detached itself from the 3-legged stool of their long time coalition.
That delicate balancing act that the Establishment has been performing since the seventies is over. The Rubes have awoken and found that their lives are for shit, and they are moving even further to the Right...so far, in fact, that certain things that once were considered Lefty are now being supported.
(without a hint of irony, of course.)
Mostly, though, it's just doubling down on all the lower rung issues...going where the Establishment can't follow, because to do so would be to admit that they were full of shit.
When Debbie Riddle, of Tomball, Texas can be chased out of office for being a “Liberal”(!?!?!) it begins to look a little revolutionary.
At the same time as careening off the Right Hand cliff on Social Issues, the Rubes have finally realised that Trickle Down is really a steady stream of urine from the corner office....that Social Security and Medicare are good things...even if those lazy black people(sic) can get it, too....that Wall Street, et alia are not their friends, and actually despise the Rubes....and that the Establishment itself has been shamelessly using them for forty years.
It's delicious...or it would be, if it were happening in a lab, somewhere.
In the Party that was Formerly On the Left, the battle lines are between an FDR New New Dealer, channeling Teddy Roosevelt if not Eugene Debs....and a Moderate Republican named Clinton, who solemnly counsels Patience and Pragmatism(again) instead of Storm the Bastille.
The latter side of the divide has been caught(by me, at least) using much the same rhetorical tactics as the Right...obfuscation, half story rebuttals, cherrypicking data and history in order to smear their opponent, and throwing the word “Traitor” at any Liberal who disagrees with them.
Turns out that I am a Misogynist...just because I won't vote for Hillary.
I noticed the beginning of this phenomenon as long as two years ago, when my criticism of Bill Clinton's Presidency was suddenly called out as Heresy.
I am no fan of the whole Third Way, Triangulation, “hey, let's abandon Liberalism and be the Good Republicans” dance that we've been doing ever since that time.
I think that we're witnessing the beginnings of the end of the Sixth Party System...that began with Reagan...but had it's beginnings with Goldwater.
That it's happening on both sides means that this election is shaping up to be a contest between the Elite, and their Minions, and the Middle and Lower Classes.
That hasn't happened in this country since the '30's.
Tramp and Crazy would both be disastrous...the latter, for his Messianic Saviour Complex(they have meds, for that), and the former, for his Four Year Old with a Shotgun unpredictability(which would require Parents).
Hillary means maintaining the Status Quo of Malaise and Inequality and a further hollowing out of the Domestic Economy.
Bernie is the only hope, aside from Jill Stein of the Greens, who has no chance, structurally and procedurally.
Suddenly, the Fora at places like Alternet are sounding a lot like LATOC in it's heyday.
Fast Collapse, or Slow?
Peaceful Transition, or Mutant Zombie Bikers?
Everything is up in the air.
...and the Right is doing the same thing, but from their....umm....”perspective”...lol.
(what is the view like from under that rock, or that bridge,or from within one's own colon?)
The Populists in both arenas agree, remarkably, on two things: Politics is Broken...and an Economy of, by and for Giant Corporations pretty much sucks.
Now is the time for Lefty's of all stripes to be out there in the Fora, both Virtually, and in Meatspace, making the case for a better world.
The Righty Rube Mob is confused and disillusioned, and as long as one avoids carefully the Bad Words(Social,Socialism, Collective, etc), common ground can be found.
This may be our best chance, if not our last, to drag a considerable portion of those morons at least a little bit closer to Reality.
Their inherent Homophobic, Islamophobic and Racist Tendencies are still problematic, of course...and their by now habitual lunacy about the Shape of the World is still there...but on Economics and Governance, I see them as ripe for conversion to a relatively more sane position.
Someone who works for a living should not be in fucking Poverty.
That's likely a pretty easy sell, at this moment.
Hyperegulation on the very smallest businesses, and the obvious fact that Mom and Pop are not identical to Walmart, would also be a good place to begin.
I would hit on an Amendment for Automatic Voter Registration, perhaps coincident with Selective Service...I think the argument can be constructed to encompass their entrained mythical fears on the matter.
Infrastructure Spending/Massive Jobs Program is another topic that I think is suddenly on the table with the Lumpenbillies.
Economics, Bank and Wall Street Reform...all of it.
They're hurting just like the rest of us, and Trump has made it OK to talk about these things...for the first time in my life. The Framework that they have been using in their Apprehension of the World is fragmenting and falling, piece by piece, to the ground.
Now is not the time to hide out in our Hillforts.
It's also exactly the wrong time for full throated support for the Status Quo.
As Bob Marley said, “Strike while the iron is hot.”