Ah well, now we are both engaged and enraged by the Iowa
Democratic Caucus debacle. More grist for the mill of too many candidates
slinging mud at one another in a strange American contest—one of whom will emerge
as the least tarnished candidate in an 18 month trial by exhaustion.
What a great way to choose a candidate
for the 2020 national election. My heart is, indeed, all a-flutter.
Democrats somehow (and with no credible evidence) seem to
feel they were robbed of the 2016 election. If half the nation merely came to
its senses, those who erred by electing Donald Trump would mend their ignorant
ways and return Democrats to power.
I have a news flash for them.
Half the voting public are far
from ignorant and the unsettling political times in which we find ourselves
thrashing about today have been coming down the pike for nearly half a century.
Item One: Half our country
is scared shitless.
Item Two: History shows
that populations scared shitless are vulnerable to saviors on white horses
and most saviors on white horses ride waves of racism, fear and desperation.
Item Three: We have arrived
at the edge of fascism and it’s absolutely no surprise that Donald Trump was
elected president. If Democrats don’t change their rhetoric, Mr. Trump will be
re-elected and that will come as no surprise either.
That outcome is not inevitable, but it’s highly probable,
especially after the finding of innocent by the Senate on Impeachment. But, like Elizabeth Warren, I have a plan
If there’s a single commonality to
all political campaigns, it’s the promise to
unite the country, to heal our
wounds and bring us together as a nation once again.
We are too wounded for that. Anyone
with eyes to see and ears to hear knows that whichever party wins the
presidency in November, half the country is going to be outraged.
Outraged is not a common term in American elections.
Disappointed, pissed-off, grousing and grumbling are common and we’re used to those
feelings—knowing we have another swing at the ball in four years.
We don’t. Is that scary? Let it sink in a bit and roll it
around on your tongue.
And the reason we don’t hasn’t a
damned thing to do with Donald Trump or Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren. It’s a cyclical
phenomenon and the cycle has been forming like an enormous tapeworm in the political
gut for over four decades.
It’s not an elephant in the room—we
might have noticed that. The national tapeworm is far more elusive and its
symptoms within the body politic not very straightforward.
They include lethargy, a loss of
productivity, wage disparity, the slow unwinding of commonly held truths,
followed by the wearisome and interminable knowledge that life will never be
the same. Half of America has lost hope and the other half knows it. We are at
war with ourselves.
Were it otherwise, Bernie and Liz and Mayor Pete might have
more enlightened platforms than merely defeating Donald Trump.
How uninspiring is that? Tax the
rich is not a platform.
The inequities built up by co-conspiring political parties
include selling off every government controlled entity that wasn’t nailed down
(and some that were).
They busted the unions, allowed corporations and individuals
to off-shore both jobs and profits, destroyed private as well as
state-run banks, and created a whole class of businesses designated as too
big to fail.
And what is the result of that?
Absolute chaos—a nation staggering
under debt (student loans, auto loans, credit-card loans and a business-loan
bubble to insolvent small businesses). Homelessness in the richest nation in
the world. Absurd healthcare costs. A predominant gig-economy with no healthcare
Those are Trump voters, folks and
they are neither stupid or wrong-headed. They are not going away if
Democrats pull off a miracle and win the 2020 election. Bernie and Liz and
Pete better have a damned good solution to their pain and fear.
But I don’t see that in the political conversation. Bernie
and Liz and Pete have their hands full sniping at one another, assuring whoever
survives as the Democratic candidate will be bleeding from the ears.
The conversation had better damned quick turn from who was
faster on the draw at the last debate, to what these dudes and dudesses plan
for the walking wounded of America.
Those voters are the target
audience—and they’re a tough crowd, because they’ve been lied to for two
Democrats will vote for any
candidate that is not Trump. Bernie and Liz and Pete can stop worrying about
But if they don’t have a more sane solution than Trump for the scared
shitless of the nation, they may win but will never govern.
Anarchy is not governable and I very much hope that America
has not yet come to that.
But it’s dangerously close.