Thank you, Kathy Hussey! My prognostications have fallen short time and again to such an extent that I too get addled & confused. I’ve tried to keep writing about this ‘intersection’ of the two regimes, but it’s taking me longer and longer to get past the chaff to the real target. And it’s not just media — alt, mainstream or social — anymore. Paths — hell, entire highways — of legitimate political action are getting blockaded. Activism itself can come to seem inutile.
Lately, I’ve been trying to shift focus from resistance to opposition. In that sense, the US is far ahead of the Philippines. On the other side of the Pacific coin, thanks to the Filipino president & vice-president elected separately, if we ever get our demagogue out of office, we have a very suitable vice waiting in the wings, not — as in the US — a more politically astute version of the same politics.
In America, with its more secure institutions — in other words, where a political opposition is even possible — there is a great deal of fractiousness. At a time when the GOP itself is (overtly or covertly) split along pro- & anti-Trump lines, that’s a pity. Real political power comes from winning elections. So this is actually the time for deal-making rather than back-stabbing or throat-cutting. We need to be forming a strong, politically viable opposition, but I can’t help but wonder if — in the present environment — there is any hope of preventing debate from turning into self-destructive free-for-alls. Thus farther splitting the opposition that exists.
Here, it’s even worse. The demagogue still holds real masses in thrall (while Trump’s approval rating keeps tanking) and even with a good, relatively popular leader, we still totally lack anything like a genuine opposition. This is the strength of demagoguery-in-power: it can do so much TO people. Can kick over so many anthills and keep so many people squirming, agitated by particular wrongs done to prticulr interests.
After just one year of Duterte in the Philippines, despite the best resistance the country’s been able to muster, we’re much worse off than the US — much farther down the authoritarian road…we desperately need resistance to become opposition. But of course, none of can foresee what the US will be like after a year of Trump.