A wise man said that the purpose of a nation is to build unity and deconstruct division.
That doesn’t describe our country, does it?
No, we’ve become a nation of the haves and have nots, riven by false partisan conflict. Team Red vs Team Blue.
Especially in the age of Trump. Since the election, liberals have lost their minds, depicting Trump as some sort of immaculate evil who came out of nowhere. However, Trump has simply tapped into the hatred that huge segments of the American public have for a political and economic system that has betrayed them.
Contrary to neoliberal propaganda we don’t have free markets, but we do have a billionaire-class that owns the government. What that means is that we have a capitalism without free markets that doesn’t provide the benefits of capitalism, and a democracy which has been captured by oligarchy which doesn’t provide the benefits of democracy.
Going further, the rewards showered upon society’s handful of winners have grown astronomically greater, while the rest of us are battered by austerity. The outcome is exactly what anyone would expect: people will do anything to be among the winners.
This poisonous morality has created a race to the bottom, where the billionaire-class argues that we can’t have fair financial markets, or worker safety, or clean air, or water, if we want to be rich. The only way that we can become wealthy is to get on board with their agenda, and subsume their values.
Examining the political parties and the interests they represent in this milieu is instructive.
The Republicans, if anything, are more honest. They make no bones about their unwavering support for the wealthy and corporations they own. They straight-up support plutocracy and yearn to return to the Lochner era of the early 20th century.
The Democrats pretend to support workers and claim to value diversity, but it’s all an act. They too support plutocracy. After all, they are neoliberals, where they believe that markets, rather than the demos is sacrosanct. And, since neoliberalism is predicated upon intervention to bring about the types of government and markets that the neoliberals believe are necessary for the success of capitalism, the Democrats have been busy. Rather than treating inequality as a bug, they believe that the plutocrats are the winners and urge the losers to up their game through education and re-training. We’re admonished to burnish our human-capital so that we can compete in the market.
To differentiate themselves from Republicans, the Democrats tout their commitment to identity politics. However, their support of identity politics sure seems insincere. The Democrats care about identity politics–supporting more women, people of color and LGBT candidates–only when it doesn’t interfere with their embrace of neoliberalism and plutocracy, as the 2018 primary elections between progressives and establishment candidates bears out.
What’s so funny about the whole phony team red vs team blue partisanship is that it’s all kayfabe, where both parties support plutocracy, while dividing the electorate into rival camps, while their wealthy backers whistle all the way to the bank.
What’s not so funny is that the rhetoric is getting dangerously out of control, with partisans threatening violence.
However, this is a dangerous game.
It’s also a false read on our nations serious problems to put all of the blame on Trump and his supporters.
Genuine resistance is admitting and confronting our root problems which are deeply engrained and systemic. It means coming to terms with the fact that both parties support the plutocrats. It means accepting that Obama presided over George W. Bush’s third and forth terms and Trump is presiding over the fifth.
Obama’s terrible policies were deserving of intense criticism as are Trump’s, but thinking that merely switching out the president is going to magically fix our problems is deranged.