Friday, April 21, 2017

19.1 - The roots and the struggle

The roots and the struggle

This is show number 19 of What’s Left, and if I include the shows done under its former title of Left Side of the Aisle, it is show number 280.

More to point, it is being recorded on April 20, which if memory and counting both serve, is six years to the day from the recording of the very first episode of Left Side of the Aisle. We’ve been at this for six years now.

So this week is going to be a little different. I want to spend most of the show talking about something more, I suppose you could call it, personal.

That doesn't mean there isn't a great deal to talk about even if we, as we Americans too often do, narrow our focus to what looks to affect us in the short term and the world at large be damned.

And of course of necessity a lot of what we have to talk about especially in that narrow focus has to do with Donald TheRump, as would in fact be true of pretty much any president.

But in a truer, more basic, that is, more radical, sense, what we have to talk about, what we have to address, is about him but it's not. It's about the people around him, but it's not. It's about the people who supported and still support him, but it's not. It's about all of that, but it's not all about any part of it. It's about the well, the common source, all of them draw from.

It's about a vile undercurrent in our society, a vile undercurrent that TheRump, call him what you will, you have to recognize that he is a successful real estate salesman, a fact which I have maintained from the beginning explains him, a vile undercurrent that TheRump recognized and exploited.

A vile undercurrent of bigotry, of hatred, of fear that runs through our society, a stream that has at times in the past run stronger and weaker but never runs dry.

An undercurrent of bigotry, of hatred, of fear that contrary to what some establishment Democratic partisans will insist, TheRump did not create, could not have created, it was not within his power to create.

No, he did not create it. But what he did do was he unleashed it, unleashed it for his own selfish ends and his own ego. With the tacit cooperation of the easily manipulated, sensation- and headline-hungry media, he made it acceptable, more socially-acceptable than it has been in decades, to be openly racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and he rode on that tide of bigotry, hatred, and fear and it proved to be just big enough, barely big enough, but enough, to get him into the White House.

And once there he surrounded himself with a cackling cabal of bigots and il Duce wannabes who think in their perverted little brains that they are the real voice of the nation, the voice of our soul instead of what they are, the voice of our sickness, and he turned them loose to pursue their fantasies.

He unleashed the bigotry, hatred, and fear that exists within his own administration, he unleashed their love of violence, their love of the military, their love of militarism - which means their love of force, of brutality, of power, of dominance, whether exercised by the army or by the police, unleashed their xenophobia, their racism, their sexism, their hatred for modernity, their hatred for science, their hatred for and fear of knowledge itself.

So we have seen an expanded war in Syria, the MOAB in Afghanistan, intensified drone attacks, war-driven famine in Yemen created by US arms, thinly-veiled threats to attack North Korea if it even so much as tests a missile we don't like, and far more; while at home we see the bigoted, xenophobic scumbag in charge of immigration enforcement declaring that his agency must not be criticized even as it tries to sweep away anything so much as hinting of "the other"; we see plans to do away with established consent decrees and let violent, racist police forces go right back to being violent and racist; we see rights and protections stripped from everyone from women who just want health care to women who just want decent jobs to everyone who just wants to use the Internet; all of that and far more with the common goal of making things the way they used to be and actually never were - except for rich white men.

I said a few weeks ago and I say again that I have never before seen an administration so persistently indifferent to the needs of the many not only here but around the world, so insistently determined to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted, so unreservedly favoring the powerful over the powerless, the rich over the poor, the corporations over the people, so eager to embrace bigotry, this is the first time an administration has seemed so utterly devoid of redeeming virtues.

So yes, there is much to talk about and much do to, but across all of our acts of resistance we need to recall that ultimately, at bottom, at root, this cannot be just about Donald TheRump or his co-conspirators or his blinkered minions but is, must be, about the well from which they all drink, that well fed with that undercurrent of bigotry, hatred, and fear.

At the end of the day, TheRump and the Rumpettes are the symptoms, the outgrowths, not the disease. And we should constantly remind ourselves that for a society just like for a patient, it's sometimes -  including the present moment - necessary to focus on the symptoms of a sickness, but we should never confuse the symptom with the cause.

But frankly, it's also true that sometimes it's necessary for our own health - mental if not physical - to step back for a moment, so I'm giving myself a week off from all that.

Except for one observation, just because I feel like it.

Three months ago, I argued that Russian interference in the elections - which I was entirely prepared to stipulate happened - was not aimed at electing TheRump but at damaging Hillary Clinton so she would be a weak president.

Well, on April 19 Reuters reported that a Russian think tank connected to Vladimir Putin developed a plan to affect the 2016 elections. Initially, it was aimed at building up TheRump - but by October they had decided that Clinton was likely to win the election and so they proposed intensifying messaging about voter fraud to undermine the electoral system's legitimacy and thereby, yes, damage and weaken Clinton's presidency.

So who ya gonna listen to: CNN, MSNBC, and the Democratic Party establishment - or me?

No comments:

// I Support The Occupy Movement : banner and script by @jeffcouturer / (v1.2) document.write('
I support the OCCUPY movement
');function occupySwap(whichState){if(whichState==1){document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}else{document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}} document.write('');