Archive for May, 2016|Monthly archive page

Because if I don’t talk about it here I might explode


1) Political opinions vary along multiple axes. A two-party system can’t possibly represent all opinions faithfully.
2) In the USA, the two parties’ positions on the geo-political and national security axes can only be distinguished by trained experts.
3) Their positions on the economic axis vary, but not in a way that honestly matters to the average voter. Their positions on the social justice axis vary, but not in a way that honestly matters to large donors, lobbyists, and other policy setters.
4) Consequently both parties treat social justice issues as not much more than a flag, around which to rally voters to economic policies that would otherwise either bore them or horrify them.
5) Democrats approach this from a position of pride, assuming that if they simply take the correct positions then voters will accumulate to them by right. Republicans approach this from a position of cynicism, assuming that if they scapegoat the correct people then voters will accumulate to them out of spite.
6) But ultimately both are basically taking social issues hostage in the service of an economic agenda.

Enter Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Bernie’s trying to do the honorable thing, staking an economic position which I think he honestly believes and which distinguishes him from the establishment candidates. I think he’s genuinely trying to lead. But he fucked it up. His position on the social justice axis was weak; he basically walked right into the establishment Democrats’ first line of defense and let them feel smug about it in the bargain. Worse he fell in with a core group of supporters who are more than willing to shoot the hostage, so to speak. He’s not going to succeed, and he’s going to make things worse in the process, wounding the Democratic party but not killing it.

Donald’s trying (and succeeding) to do the deeply cynical thing, calling the Republican’s bluff and taking over their con. It’s breathtaking in its horror, an extended fart in a funeral by a man I think genuinely doesn’t give a rat’s ass about any agenda other than his own glory. He’s doing better than Bernie, though, because he identified a better attack vector.  And everyone on the planet who isn’t Donald Trump is going to be poorer for it.

The best-case scenario now is a Hillary win and a cementing of the Democratic party into power for a decade, but that’s not a good enough scenario.

What was needed was the opposite of Trump: someone to call the Democratic party’s bluff on social issues and stake out a new position on economic issues, but from a place of genuine idealism instead of Trump’s uncaring cynical pandering. Someone to shatter the Democratic party the way Trump is shattering the Republicans, but to build something better in it’s wake instead of just pissing on the ashes. Bernie wasn’t it. He did half a job, which may have been worse than no job at all. Better now to just burn both parties down.