Gods Playthings I
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During the campaign, Trump boasted that if he would walk out onto Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, that it would only make him more popular with Republican voters. He may have been right.
He is probably right too. Because the President-elect is, first and foremost, a showman — and because, as such, he is gearing up for a spectacular First Hundred Days — the consequences of Trumpian rule will be apparent even to the densest observers very soon. The most vulnerable among us will suffer the most and the soonest, but, in short order, even the most obtuse white, male, and long in the tooth Trump voters will realize that they have been snookered.
But Trump is turning economic policy over to Wall Street completely. Clinton was bad news when it came to defending working people from the predations of banksters and high flying financiers; Trump will be many times worse. But Trump is handing military and foreign policy over to the Generals — not to the kind whose professionalism might sometimes restrain the bellicosity of civilian chicken hawks, but to the kind that revel in murder and mayhem.
Neither she nor they have a problem with the Saudis, for example, or with the other Gulf monarchies. Muslim governments that back jihadis ideologically and materially are fine with all of them too, so long as they buy American weapons, permit America to establish or maintain military bases on their territories, and get along with Israel — in deed, if not in word.
They all also have a problem with Iran, and with its allies in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. In this respect, they are even more Clintonian than the Clintonite Queen. Is this what the well-meaning chumps Trump snookered into voting for him had in mind? So far, most of the folks who bought the snake oil Trump sold them do not realize how thoroughly they have been had.
Before long, though, they will. Were the Democratic Party of any use, Congress might eventually be capable of restoring the political scene to a less nightmarish condition, as it did after Watergate. But the Democratic Party is a lost cause. To hear mainstream pundits tell it, the Democrats are a center-left party — like the Labor Party in Britain or the Social Democrats in Germany and the Socialists in France used to be and, to some extent, still are. But there is nothing center-left about the Democratic Party today.
However, Jackson was too authentically black for the electorate of the time and perhaps still , and too radical for Wall Street and corporate donors. Nevertheless, he won several primaries and caucuses both times he ran. He never really had a chance of becoming President, however. Had he wanted to, he probably could have transformed the Rainbow Coalition into a full-fledged political party or, at the very least, a quasi-permanent faction that the leaders of the Democratic Party would have to deal with.
He chose instead to meld it back into the Democratic fold. Ever since, the Party has treated him respectfully, while denying him even a bare semblance of real power. Kucinich never managed to overcome the impression that he was a flyweight, and a tad kooky to boot.
After the elections, his Congressional district in Ohio was gerrymandered out of existence, and Democratic Party leaders saw to it that there would be no place elsewhere for him to run. As for Sanders, suffice it to say that, like Jackson, he could have severely damaged, and perhaps mortally wounded, the disabling duopoly party system that has for so long made a mockery of democracy in America.
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He chose instead to become a player in the higher reaches of the Democratic Party. He achieved great things running against Hillary, but, in the end, he went over to her side.
History will judge his choice. Had the Party he now embraces not rigged the nomination process against him, he would very likely have defeated Clinton, and gone on to defeat Trump. Would a President Sanders have been even more hamstrung by Republican obstructionists than Obama has been? Very likely, yes. He would have had not only House and Senate Republicans to contend with but also, to an extent Obama never did, the titans of American commerce, industry and finance.
Obama was their man in the White House; a President Sanders would be a thorn in their side. Could he have used the bully pulpit to get anything worthwhile done even so? Must we therefore conclude with absolute certainty that the Democratic Party cannot be improved from within?
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Of course, not; others could follow in the footsteps of Jackson, Kucinich and Sanders, and perhaps even succeed. If Trump can happen, anything can happen. Even the gods that inflicted Trump upon us might find changing the Democratic Party fundamentally for the better beyond their powers and abilities. In any case, getting the Democratic Party to be part of the solution, not the problem, would take years of protracted struggle — while, in just a few weeks time, the Trump presidency will be transformed from a nightmarish idea into a stark reality.
If only it were! If Democrats are serious about stopping Trump, the least they could do is study and learn from the Republican example. Nobody obstructs better. The Reds have been gone from Russia for decades, but redbaiting and Russophobia live on in foreign policy establishment circles.
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There are Republicans who think like them too, of course; before and during the Bush-Cheney era, neoconservatism was a Republican thing. But, for the most part, the current wave of Putin demonization has been a Democratic project, spurred on by the Clinton campaign and its media allies. They are working that line now more than ever. But the Democrats are worse.
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That number is now reduced to one, relations with Russia. And the Democrats have gotten worse on Russia. Whatever the reason, they are doing more now than during the campaign to scare people with the specter of the Devil Incarnate, the consummately evil Vladimir. Dionne livid. He is shocked, shocked that anyone this side of Donald Trump would even think of mentioning that ancient family squabble. The utter hypocrisy of it all is at least as mind boggling as anything the Donald has been up to lately.
Has there been an election anywhere in the world since at least the end of the Second World War that the U. Maybe a few are homegrown, but not many. It gets even worse than that! How about opposing him because all he lives for is the fossil fuel industry, and fossil fuels are bringing on an ecological catastrophe for the entire planet?
Do Democrats want to talk about that? The time to have built non-marginalzized alternatives to the rotting hulk that the Democratic Party has become was years ago.
But since we cannot travel back in time, it is urgent that we take up that cause now. However, in light of what Trump has been up to since he won — or, rather, since Hillary lost — the election, stopping him is now a more immediate and urgent priority. How can he be stopped? Massive, non-violent resistance, as much of it as possible, is indispensable. But it will be difficult, if not impossible, to sustain significant mobilizations of anti-Trump activists for four long and dreadful years.
This is why now is the time to start thinking about how to hurt Trump in what he cares about most — his bottom line. Boycotting everything that bears his name is an obvious place to start. Boycotts require little organization, they are non-violent, and they are something that everybody can help with. In this case, all people need due is not buy things they are better off without. What could be easier? Shaming everyone who does buy the crap he and his children sell, and who frequent the stores in his building and his over-the-top resorts and pleasure domes — can also help.
The goal must be to make the Trump brand, and the Trump name, anathema to persons of good taste and moral decency everywhere. The same holds for the miscreants that the Donald has brought into his administration — the billionaires and millionaires, the Generals, the rank incompetents.
As Numbtongue has shown us, personalities exist after death and can be downloaded by specific people. They can even be uploaded and allowed to run. And, this is the important part, the personality has cognizance, recognizes the situation that it's in, and has essentially no ability to affect anything. Who knows what they can do with stored personalities? Allowing you a brief glimpse of the existential hell that your life now is?
And it comes with a side dish of "your mental state is twisted to love the golden cage that you're now in". This possession power, yes it could take a person over but I think it's really why the faeries called those with levels the playthings of the gods. Once you fail to opt out, you're in the system and can be brought back at any time.