In my case the adage, “you can’t go home again” is literally true. However not long before my 93-year-old father died, I asked him who would carry Michigan in 2016, Hillary and the Clintons, or Trump the demagogic autocrat?
Dad retained his mental acuity and political acumen until the last months of his life, and he said, “It’s going to be really close, but I think Trump will take the state.”
If he does, I replied, God help us, because he’ll win enough electoral votes to be elected president. So after James Comey’s blunder a fortnight before Election Day, declaring that Hillary was still under investigation, I predicted Trump would win in my column.
Sanders almost certainly won’t beat Biden in Michigan, as he did Hillary in 2016 keeping his campaign alive. But he’ll hunker down and hang on until the convention, just as he did the last go around, allowing the smash mouth president to tar the Democrats with his self-projected tag of extremism.
All told, the dream and delusion of restoration has prevailed in the Democratic Party over the necessity and urgency of revolution, albeit at a completely different level than Bernie’s “political revolution.”
I’m no Bernie Bro, but I agree with much of his diagnosis of the American economic and political system, and with many of his policy proposals. However I cannot understand the appeal of this crotchety counter-culturalist to young people.
Why do so many Gen Y and Z’ers rightly say, “OK Boomer” out of one side of their mouth, and “Go Bernie” out of the other? Start your own revolution; ours failed 50 years ago after Kent State, in nearby Ohio a month before I graduated from high school.
I know a fellow in this northern California town, a leading lawyer and activist, who was a Sander’s delegate in 2016. At 70, he was such a true believer in the old ideals that he gave himself a brain bleed by staying up three nights in a row lobbying for Bernie’s platform.
Flip the script, and MSM hacks are propagating falsehoods as pernicious as conspiracy theories on the Net. For example: “The left doesn’t care about winning…they have prioritized purity over victory,” and “they have chosen to lose on their own terms rather than win with compromise.”
What such arrogant blowhards refuse to face is that America elected Trump in 2016, not just Republicans. Trump is our manifest destiny, and the pusillanimous Democratic Party cannot be blamed for the predictable repetition presently unfolding, because the underlying truth about this nation as a whole has not been faced.
Throwback Biden’s campaign slogan, “The Soul of the Nation,” is false on the face of it, because the death of America’s soul over a generation ago is
what allowed this excrescence to rise to the surface and place himself above the law. It’s easy to blame the Republican Party for making a pact with the devil, but Democrats have no claim to moral authority, much less superiority.
I have a bad feeling about where this whole thing is headed, and it has dire implications for the human prospect. If a minority of people in America and abroad look beyond their national frames however, humankind can still change course before it’s too late. That’s what the coronavirus is compelling us to do.
If Trump is down by 5 points or more in October, will he start a war to “unify the country” and remain in power? Don’t put it past him. If he does it will be a real war, not some glorified police action like Iraq or Afghanistan, as murderous and misguided as they were.
After all, Trump has reason to fear the fate he has tried to inflict on others, starting with inciting his mob to chant, “Lock her up” during his last campaign season. America’s Orangeman was never going to go gentle into that good night. The brand will never allow him to be branded a “loser.”
As incurious and dense as he is, the narcissist-in-chief knows that he could well be the first ex-president in American history to be indicted, convicted and imprisoned for crimes he committed before he became president.
So what is to be done? First, realize that America is no longer the engine of human advancement but has become the caboose. We cannot lead on the coronavirus, climate change, the Syrian humanitarian travesty or anything else. There will be no restoration of the status quo ante.
America has ceased being a force for good in the world, and much of the denial on both the right and left stems from the refusal to admit that fact.
Trump is really not so different than the vast majority of people in this country, who think first and last of themselves, and believe they can create their own reality.
History has a momentum, and some things cannot be stopped. We need to prepare for them, not only personally, but with humankind as a whole in heart and mind.
The only way what is can change is by facing and remaining with what is. The question is: Are enough people in this and other lands radically changing, and can we inwardly and outwardly step into the vacuum when the whole shebang implodes?