The Quadrennial Clusterfuck
I don’t see Republicans and Democrats… I see European civilization killing everything. ~Conrad Justice Kiczenski
Here we are again, in the post-Convention frenzy of a presidential election year in the USA. All sense, reason and proportion go out the window as both sides hurl their invective and sling their spin. Passions rise and all composure is sidelined. Each team makes dire predictions — but selectively, so as not to draw attention to the real issues, which neither one wants to acknowledge.
Partisanship is an affliction that threatens our survival. Both parties fully support ecocide and imperialism (regardless of what their respective supporters might hope). Vicious environmental destruction and brutal war-making will continue unabated in 2021 under either administration.
Of course there are differences in execution, but that’s like contrasting a firing squad and an electric chair. You end up dead either way.
From a second Trump administration, what I fear are further attacks on the environment, especially given the fact that there’s been almost no pushback against any of it so far. Obsessed with red-baiting conspiracy theories,Trump’s critics have been ignoring his worst crimes. Entire species are threatened with extinction while people peddle rumours so baseless they’d make Joseph McCarthy blush. Imagine a world where Rachel Maddow spent four years giving as much attention to Trump’s very real attacks on environmental regulation as she did on her Kremlin fever dreams. The ensuing outrage might have turned back some of his assaults. But in the reality we’re stuck with, most people don’t even seem to have noticed that he’s squashed a half century of protections. I am bitterly, bitterly disgusted.
From a Biden administration, what I fear is complacency. That all the vociferously loyal Democratic voters will repeat their acts of 2008 and 2012, which is to hit snooze and roll over with the blankets pulled over their heads. Just a reminder that both houses of Congress were under Democratic control for the first two years of Obama’s first term and that he accomplished diddly-shit with that opportunity as far as progressive policies are concerned. In response to the financial crisis, he bailed out the big banks and let the people suffer. He took the healthcare “public option” off the table unilaterally. He refused to reverse any of the unconstitutional policies of the previous administration. And he got zero pushback on it. Zero. Nobody “held his feet to the fire.” Everyone was so enamored that a person with his skin color was in the White House that everything he actually did was ignored.
The complacency of the Obama years might well turn out to have been the fatal stroke to a livable ecology for humans on this planet. Obama’s “all of the above” energy policy lead to the highest levels of fossil fuel production in the US since the early ’70s. (See “How Obama Became the Oil President” in Mother Jones.) The damage this caused far outweighs any benefit of participating in the Paris climate accords, which were toothless and too-little/too-late anyway.
In other words, in a time when it was becoming undeniably clear that we must make drastic changes for the sake of our survival, and when we would have benefited from strong leadership to help us move in that direction, Obama doubled-down on the ecocidal status quo. Not content to shit just in our own bed, Secretary Hillary was dispatched to spread fracking around the world, too.
In 2008, the last thing we and this planet needed was a resurgence in oil and natural gas production. But that’s what Obama gave us. The big “green” organizations didn’t do shit to try to slow him down, either. They never made any demands and he never made any promises. The damage since done is irreversible, and if young people today don’t live to be old, Obama will be a big part of why.
But such facts don’t matter to partisan Democrats. Their team can do no wrong and the other team can do no right, no matter what. While I pretty much agree with the second part, on the first part they’re delusional AF. I’d say that a rude awakening is on the way as climate chaos intensifies, but probably the denial will persist to the end — the drought-stricken, super-stormed, city-flooded, crop-failed, species-extincted end.
Remember the anti-war movement? They put down their protest signs and went to brunch when St. Barry was elected. I had hoped they would return when Trump was installed, but I guess they’ve dropped the issue permanently. On that subject, they’re just taking their lead from the top: rhetoric-vs-rhetoric, Hillary and now Biden speak to the right of Trump on foreign policy. Say what you will about Trump, but he doesn’t have a war crime like Libya on his record.
But like the environment, US imperialism is not up for discussion this election cycle. Nothing is up for discussion because the only thing that matters is getting Trump out. That makes for a very dangerous moment. People are setting themselves up to get something even worse.
Is Biden going to reverse everything bad that Trump did? Only a very naive person would believe that. Is he going to reverse anything at all? Certainly there are some tokens he can flip, but don’t count on anything big happening. After all, he himself said: “Nothing fundamental will change.”
But fundamental change is what we can’t do without. It’s what must happen if we are going to avert ecological devastation. Nothing else will do at this point. So when Democratic partisans who ignore the actual state of the world and just want things to feel “normal” again insist that I MUST vote for Trump or the world will end, I’m like, “Fuck off! It’s ending just as much because of your team.”
I’m registered to vote in a blue state, so my vote doesn’t matter anyway. But if the election came down to me, and I had to pick Trump or Biden, I don’t know what I’d do. I honestly don’t. Both men will bring further terror and carnage to the world. What we need is mutiny, and since that’s the case, it doesn’t matter who’s captain at the wheel.
Too many people who are concerned with the president are concerned only with the president. The system is apparently invisible to them, along with its inherent flaws, which are not merely cosmetic but foundational. The twisted shape of tyranny we see before us matches the mold the founding fathers cast.
The first president was a real estate man who got rich by stealing land from the Indigenous. He had personal pecuniary interests in breaking from England, which sought to keep the settler colonialists on the east side of the Appalachians. He also had a serious investment in a “peculiar institution,” which the mother country was phasing out. Genocide and slavery were the left and right hand of the so-called “American revolution.” Democracy was never the goal — nor justice, nor peace.
The office was designed for monstrous men with psychopathic appetites and penchants for sadism. “Nice guys” are not allowed (or gals).
You can’t have a “good” president; the job description requires war crimes that no “good” person would ever condone. All 45 of them have been complicit in baby killing, from the “Indian Wars” to Iraq. It’s obscene.
Wishing for one person above another to fill this grotesque role is to miss the real picture: that the US is a criminal enterprise dishing out brutality and malice, and that there’s no lessening that evil, except by dissolving the US itself.
Our only ethical — and effective — choice is revolution.