According
to yesterday’s (Mar 17) article about Bernie Sanders in the Guardian UK
newspaper, “a new poll found he is the
most popular politician in America. But instead of embracing his message,
establishment Democrats continue to resist him
.”
Well,
there’s nothing new in that, Senator Sanders was never taken seriously in the
American media during the primary campaign and when he was mentioned it was
usually with the disclaimer that ‘of
course, he has no chance at the nomination
.’

They said that of
Donald Trump as well, but in softer and softer voices as he became the last
Republican standing among a blur of unoriginal and uninspiring candidates.
Hillary had a half-dozen clear and overwhelming advantages over her ultimate opponent
and still couldn’t win:
·       A deep public-service
portfolio, covering three decades
·       An abiding
understanding of how political Washington works
·       Her gender and the
notion that it was ‘time’ for a woman
president
·       Wide and personal
acquaintance with foreign leaders
·       Name recognition and
·       The presumption that she would win by a
landslide
Didn’t
work out, did it?
Donald
Trump had nothing in his trick-bag other than an electorate that no longer
believed in the promises of either
party and he was an outsider. That was enough,
but no one saw it coming; not the press, traditional media, the new social
media, pundits, comedians (did I just repeat myself?), the international
community or any of the ships at sea.
The
consequences of which I speak are that establishment Democrats continue to
resist Bernie Sanders in the face of overwhelming evidence that he was not only
a more viable candidate than Hillary but, more importantly, that he could have won.
The Trump message was
Bernie’s message, spoken by a more sane and dedicated enthusiast, but with an
eloquence and determination that rang from thirty years in the trenches
espousing the socialist message in a political environment that was anything
but friendly. While Wall Street was busy bribing both parties for its own
purposes and Donald wasn’t more than a laughably crooked developer in New York,
Sanders was America’s political witness to the decline of its social, economic
and military power.
And now we read, from
that same Guardian newspaper that “Hillary
Clinton ‘ready to come out of the woods’ and rejoin public life
.” The
article goes on to say “the former presidential
candidate says she still has a hard time watching the news, but urged a divide
country to find common ground
.”
Well I
have news for you Hillary, we have
found common ground and you are no longer standing on it. Indeed, you did not
occupy that common ground during the primary campaign—but were determined to be
the candidate because it was your time.
You see now what that exercise in Ego cost the nation and we will find common ground because that’s
the historic American way. As Winston Churchill said by way of compliment, “You can always depend upon America to do the
right thing—after it has exhausted all the alternatives
.”
We’re currently
hip-deep in alternatives and less than two months into a Trump Administration
the world holds its breath as our president conducts diplomacy on Twitter, his executive
orders bring chaos to immigration and worldwide air travel and he chooses to
disengage America from trade and environmental obligations upon which American
credibility depends. The Congress is in turmoil and we are exhausting
alternatives by the bucketful each day that the sun comes up on late-night
tweets by our Commander in Chief.
So,
there are consequences to four decades of sinking respect for Congress to its
current rate of less than ten percent.
There are consequences to loss of
trust in government, with voter turnout sinking to all-time lows. And there
will be more. If life is tragi-comedy, it is not yet certain which the Trump
presidency represents and clarity is a long way down the road if it exists at
all.
We are told we must
not despair, but we dare not go to sleep at the wheel either and if the much
damaged Democratic Party has any role at all in America’s future, they better
do better than come out of the woods.
The electorate has spoken and for those
who have ears it has spoken more directly to Bernie Sanders than Hillary
Clinton
. The Clinton years are over.
Indeed, the last
forty years of American degradation from an industrial to a consumer economy is
just hitting its stride. We may never regain our industrial dominance, because
industry is automating itself out of the workforce on all continents. Yet our
economic future simply must be more creative than simply selling one another
cheap shit that is made to be replaced. The end-game of Corporate America is too
bleak to contemplate.
Corporate America is
dedicated to a vision the founders would not recognize. As Grover Norquist
defines that vision, “I don’t want to
abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it
into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub
.” Grover, elected by no one and
whose name is not widely recognized outside the party, dominates Republican
politics. He is a corporatist, as are the Koch brothers and other wealthy
donors who keep ALEC
in the driver’s seat of State and National political machines.
Politics
is no longer the enemy, politics has proudly made itself the bought and
paid-for toolkit of the enemy. The
corporations that relentlessly dismantle America for the financial benefit of
stockholders are this century’s bad guys and they’re not going to give up their
influence over both parties, no matter the rhetoric. Corporations worked hard
to own them both and average Americans are only slowly becoming aware of the strength
of the grip.
So, it’s
a new game, either with a re-awakened and sufficiently horrified electorate or it’s
game over. If Donald Trump in the White House doesn’t pose a serious enough
wake-up call, then it’s probably game over. But there will be consequences—there
always are.