Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Saturday, December 10, 2016

This Is Why We Are Pissed

In our upcoming New Year's congregation of several families, we have agreed to ban political discussions in order to maintain a sense of comity.  OK.  This came from one member of the group who apparently said, "You lost, get over it."

I think there are a fair number of Republicans who see it this way.  We had an election, the Republican won and now Democrats won't stop crying about it like little babies.

The problem with this thinking is that it fails to encompass how fundamentally radical this transformation could be if we DO stop protesting and fighting about it.

Russia interfered in our electoral process in order to elect a psychologically imbalanced neophyte.  Republicans - led by Mitch McConnell - stopped the intelligence agencies from publicizing this information prior to the election, because they wanted to win more than they gave a shit that we were electing a psychologically imbalanced neophyte.

Clinton won a substantial plurality of the popular vote.  Trump literally won on a technicality.  He is the least popular person ever to enter the White House, and that unpopularity is likely only to increase.

He has empowered a cabal of the most radical people to ever hold power in this country.  I'm saying that as a historian and I'm sorry/not sorry if it comes off as hyperbolic.  They want to - in no particular order - cut Social Security benefits to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy; privatize Medicare; toss 20-23 million people off their health insurance; roll back as much environmental protection as they possibly can; and of course, FSM only knows what they will do to race relations and immigrants.

Paul Ryan's fiscal plan is a nightmare of upwards redistribution of wealth - already the most pressing economic problem we face, and ironically the thing that "elected" Trump.

So the Trump administration can be summed up in the following ways:

- Of dubious electoral legitimacy, due to outside interference and a failure of the Electoral College.

- A magnification of the concentration of wealth in the 1%.

- An assault on the environment.

- An assault on non-whites.

- An assault on women.

This is why we can't "get over it" because we lost.  The Republican Party, over the course of the 21st century has become a radical outlier.  They have embraced an extremist agenda of plutocracy, anti-science and vote suppression.  This accelerated after Democrats took over the Congress in 2006 - prompted in part by the GOP efforts to privatize Social Security - and so there has always been a buffer between the radicals and the commonweal.

That's gone.  We lie naked and exposed to the worst impulses of the Tea Party and the Robber Barons.

My own estimation is that these policies are going to be a disaster.  Hopefully, they will be a disaster soon enough to flip at least one house of Congress in 2018.  But they will eventually be a disaster.

When that happens - and hopefully there will be enough of America left to salvage - it is incumbent to make sure that we understand the history of these years.  It's important that we understand the following.

Donald Trump is not going to screw us over and run us into a ravine.  The Republican Party is.  They are inseparable.

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