If my Bernie bona fides have been established, I’d like to turn to the priority of defeating the Republican presidential candidate. Actually, “defeat” does not do justice to my hopes. More like, we need to break them on the wheel. We need to drive them before us, and hear the lamentations of their women. Or deir vimen. You get the idea.
I’m not from high school political science club, earnestly raising the value of a strong two-party system and isn’t it sad that the Republicans have wigged out. If we’re to have two parties, then the Democrats can be the neo-liberal party and contend with a new social-democratic party. The conservatives have nothing to offer, AFAIC.
Meanwhile I see goofy arguments from lefts that discount the importance of Bernie’s priority of keeping Trump out of the White House. Would that they were left enough to appreciate the dangers of fascism.
One delusion is that there is little difference between Trump and Clinton. This is not well-founded on any comparison of policy proposals since Trump has no policies; he has psychoses. His penchant for changing his view in mid-sentence is well-known. So what can be foreseen about him as president? In my view there will be two Trumps in the White House.
One is utterly ignorant in all policy areas and uninterested in becoming informed. He will be putty in the hands of a Republican Congress. (It’s reasonable to expect that a Trump victory will be matched by Republican control of both houses of Congress.) Such a Congress would take a wrecking ball to the U.S. welfare state.
Every so often I see lefty comments to the effect that our welfare state has been destroyed, so there is nothing left to defend. In actuality, over $700 billion a year is devoted to means-tested programs, in addition to our much larger social insurance system, in addition to state and local government spending. Ms Clinton might interest herself in trimming the edges in objectionable ways (they call it “modernizing,” or “strengthening the program”), but there is no case for her matching the scale of destruction that the Republicans promise.
It is true that the Clintons were responsible for destroying the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program, but there has been no indication that they would follow suit for other Federal anti-poverty benefits. Liberal defenders of so-called welfare reform have been put back on their heels rather than urging more of the same.
The greater lefty delusion is that Trump would somehow be less adventurist in foreign policy than Ms Clinton. This gets me to Trump #2. While his policy pronouncements are murky, his dependence on the mob is clear. He is good at reading it and performing for it.
What is the mob? Its proletarian character has been exaggerated. Perhaps some mistake its boorish behavior for that of working people, in contrast, say, to some well-heeled student out of Stanford University. What comes out most clearly is the desire for violence, the hatred of minorities, of gays, of immigrants, of women. The thirst for violence is two-tiered.
One tier is street level abuse of other Americans. I would argue that indulgence of such scenarios is related to Trump’s denunciations of the press. I have doubts that the left would be able to function even at its present level given Trump’s lack of commitment to democratic norms.
The other tier is the wish for mass violence committed by the U.S. military against foreigners. I’ve tried to establish my opposition to Ms Clinton’s brand of American exceptionalism. Those who would rank it as more dangerous than a Trump administration need to answer this question: given his rhetoric to date, not to mention his loopy foreign policy advisers, how do you think a President Trump would react to a non-trivial provocation from what could be labeled an Islamic source? He has has spoken of his desire to “bomb the shit out of them.” I understand that remark as a lack of concern for any collateral damage. When the subject of water-boarding has come up, he promises to go further, as if torture is not a device for obtaining intelligence, however dubious, but as a means of punishment.
In a nutshell, the Trump campaign displays all sorts of sirens, flashing lights, and strains of the Ride of the Valkyries, signaling danger. Obliterating his campaign would have the added benefit of diminishing Republican prospects in other races. I submit that this would be a good thing.
In summary, if you’re any kind of semi-conscious lefty, you have to want to see a Republican Party meltdown, the counterpart of which is a Democratic Party landslide, this year.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.