In a previous post I outlined some things progressives need to work on. How do we do that? Many Dems are still in denial about the 2017 presidential election—pointing the finger of blame at the wrong persons for the most part—but the losses two years after Mr. Obama became president, the Gingrich Revolution, have become insignificant compared to 2017. Hundreds of Dem legislative positions were lost to the GOP at all levels—national, state, and local. The presidency, two houses of Congress, and the Supreme Court are now controlled by the Republicans. Either true progressives have to take over the Democratic Party, or they’ll have to establish a viable third party. Either one will take time, motivation, and considerable energy. Now that the ABC’s of the new American Reich (“Adolph” Trump, Stephen Bannon, and Kellyanne Conway) have shown their true fascist proclivities in Il Duce’s first weeks in office, this progressive imperative has become all the more important.
Faux-liberals have to and will be denounced—their numbers are legion in national, state, and local governments (some current Dem members of Congress should be shaking in their boots). These are people who cozy up to the rich, make false promises to get elected, and become sycophants of the elites. We don’t need more politicians who are beholding to Wall Street and multinationals. We need politicians who truly care about ordinary people and work hard for them. Becoming part of the national oligarchy should never be the goal of the true progressive. All goals can be summarized in one statement: make things better for all citizens, not just the privileged few.
To follow that one mantra, progressives need to elect progressives—true progressives. More grassroots efforts like those that characterized the Sanders campaign are needed. These will be difficult because progressive voters are discouraged, and rightly so. They have had to do battle with conservatives, Trumpers, faux-liberals, and the rich elites. It’s hard to run the marathon corresponding to years and years of political activism, but that staying power is required now to turn things around. I challenge all true progressives to do what they can. Do-nothing attitudes and non-productive actions will only make things worse, especially if the latter are just non-productive whining and wringing hands about losing the 2017 election.
My own trajectory goes all the way back to McGovern and taking part in anti-Vietnam War and Civil Rights protests. I can’t say those of my generation were successful because look what happened in 2017! Or maybe we didn’t emphasize enough that continuous vigilance is needed on the part of younger generations? Many world and national events should teach us to never let our guard down—the Vietnam War, the battle for civil and women’s rights, the dangers of the military-industrial complex, the sociopathic tendencies of Wall Street, narcissistic psychos in the White House, and so forth. Younger generations have to relight and carry the torch that my generation has allowed to dim.
Bigotry and hatred never die—old bigots and haters spawn new bigots and haters. Michael Moore (no relation) once said we just have to wait for the old ones to die off. Not so. They keep coming, a modern version of the Visigoths sacking Rome, hastening the fall of the Roman Empire. Maybe the Romans deserved it; in this modern version, progressives only deserve it if they remain complacent. Progressives have to keep the battle going, maintaining a watchful eye over the civic henhouse because foxes are always around waiting to pounce. In fact, in 2017, we chickens gave the foxes the keys.
There’s only one conspiracy theory that’s valid because there’s incontrovertible evidence of its validity: greed, lust for power, bigotry, and hatred will turn people into monsters. It’s a well-established theory because there’s lots of experimental evidence to support it. It describes dark politics like that occurring now, more real and dangerous than dark matter or dark energy (we’re not sure the latter exist, but Trump is real). We must always be exposing these people who go to the dark side because they have no love for their fellow human beings, only a desire to enrich themselves, practicing oppression and persecution in the process.
Mr. Trump will probably help progressives, of course, because he can’t possibly keep all the pie-in-the-sky promises he’s made to his voters. The legal attacks on his unconscionable and unconstitutional edicts will hound him for years. (You can’t argue a preference for religious minorities AKA Christians and Jews isn’t a violation of the First Amendment, for example—or will the new SCOTUS not give a rat’s ass about the Constitution anymore? Trump seems to wipe his behind with it.) For older voters in Florida, for example, to whom Trump promised not to touch Medicare and Social Security, or younger voters to whom he promised a viable substitute for Obamacare and new jobs, these will become disillusioned with his empty promises. Many others will become disillusioned too as he and Congress roll back every progressive advance made since the New Deal. But progressives shouldn’t count on the self-destruction of Trumpism, as possible as it might seem to be.
The Obama administration showed that it’s not enough for progressives to own the presidency (of course, it’s questionable whether Mr. Obama is a true progressive—if you look like an aloof elitist, talk like an aloof elitist, and act like an aloof elitist, are you an aloof elitist?). Progressives must be able to pass laws and override vetoes. Obamacare never would have passed after the Gingrich Revolution, for example. It’s doomed now in the Trump administration, even though some GOP members are running scared because they have no clue about what will replace it and don’t want to be saddled with Trumpcare, doomed to be a failure.
Progressive-minded volunteers must stump for progressive candidates who will make Congress, both the House and Senate, agents for progressive change in the U.S. And this must occur at state and local levels too. Activism starts locally, as Sanders always said. That’s how a peaceful revolution is built. That’s what we desperately need to block this parade along the dark streets toward fascism. We’re headed to the latter right now, the parallels with 1930’s Germany too stark to ignore.
Curiously, no 2017 election results are available in my home town. Maybe the local election board is embarrassed to show how many voted for Trump. It’s generally an elite citizenry here—publishers, writers, medical professionals, lawyers, and so forth who have joined the NYC diaspora to this bedroom community to start or raise families far from the madding crowd. I expect HRC won here, though. I doubt they counted my write-in vote for Bernie Sanders. That’s as far as my activism can go now—writing these posts, attacking fascist sentiments, right-wingers, and faux-liberals, and voting for true progressive candidates, even if it’s a write-in.
I’ve pretty much given up on gen-Xers and other faux-liberals who supported HRC, happy with the liberal status quo in our blue state or, even worse, just because she was a woman. Progressive politics should be blind to race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, and financial status. HRC failed for other reasons, of course, maybe more for her championing of the status quo and showing she wasn’t a true progressive by snuggling up with Wall Street. Maybe her supporters had a rude awakening. I hope so. If they’re still in a dream state, we’re in trouble.
I’m looking to the millennials now to save us. They have the energy and the passion to turn this around. They were energized by a true progressive, Bernie Sanders, but he doesn’t have their energy and fervor. I wish them success in starting a grassroots movement that will truly make America great again. And I will support them with my words and votes. They can count on that.
The Midas Bomb (2nd ed). If you are waiting to get started on the “Detectives Chen and Castilblanco Series,” this first book in the series about the crime-fighting duo’s first case, is on sale at Smashwords until March 1 for $0.99, a 67% discount from the original price—in all ebook formats, including .mobi (Kindle): use the Smashwords coupon code PV57D. Of course, it’s also available on Amazon as a .mobi ebook and print book (the ebook isn’t for sale there, though). All books in this series are complete and independent stories, and you can read them in any order. #7, Gaia and the Goliaths, will be available soon.
And so it goes…