One thing that’s becoming increasingly clear as the 2020 election cycle heats up, an election cycle that contains over 20 candidates in the Democratic field ready to challenge President Donald J. Trump in an attempt to unseat the leader of the free world, and that one thing is that this election counts for Democrats. The dividing lines are being drawn on the Democratic side, with progressives tossing their support mostly behind Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren for their ambitious policy proposals, while more moderate Democrats have stated they’d rather play it “safe” by supporting the former Vice President Joe Biden, the more moderate candidate who seemingly won’t rock the boat, at least not as much.
The logic of the former group is one that looks further into the future, believing that if a progressive candidate wins the election, such policies will have favorable impacts on the American population and economy, bettering things and securing a future for the party. The logic of the latter group, of course, is that if the Democrats lose this upcoming election, all of those proposed policies are rendered null and void.
There are dangers hidden in the quest for a moderate candidate as well which shouldn’t be understated. With the deepening and ever-constant stagnation of real wages, lack of economic opportunity, massive economic stratification, lack of healthcare, lack of education, lack of science funding, and so forth ad infinitum, the U.S. has fallen very far behind in securing the futures of its citizens; job security and economic stability is becoming increasingly rare these days. One problem with moderate policies is that while it may halt the daily damage of the furious, narcissistic bull in the china shop named Trump, it’s not likely to actually address any of these underlying causes of American frustration and hopelessness.
Moderate economic policies are basically putting a band-aid over deep, systemic infections and hoping that they’ll go away — they won’t…
…they’ll merely fester and grow beneath the surface, because we need change, not a Democratic President.
Which, of course, begs the question: whenceforth from has Trump come in the first place? Personally, I refuse to view Trump as an anomaly, an outlier, an incident, like many in the world are. Trump is the President of the United States, and he is so because he was able to manage to pull together supporters which believe in his often outlandish policies and vitriolic rhetoric. From the nonsensical ramblings of Alex Jones to the slyly manipulative style of Fox News, the group of people who are Trump’s most ardent supporters has been around for decades. Most of these people can be characterized by Americans who’ve become increasingly discontented with the system.
This creates a sort of chicken-and-the-egg problem for Democrats: if they gamble on a candidate like Joe Biden, curbing their natural inclinations to try and accomplish massive goals like reparations for African Americans, universal healthcare, universal childcare, and other things which will contribute to the overall well-being of their American constituents the most, they’re essentially just creating the next Donald J. Trump. As more and more Americans become further hopeless, frustrated, confused, and disenfranchized, the next Trump will have no problems rallying a base of angry Americans behind another populist cause of objectively bad and borderline Fascist ideas. Personally, I tend to think that with concentration camps built and operating within the United States, in combination with the economic woes brought about by a trade war with China, and the conglomeration of other problems that have beset the current administration, a tin can could win an election against Trump, making the progressive candidate the wisest choice…but that’s my opinion and a decision the Democratic base is yet to make. It’s safe to say that inaction after the 2020 election will only lead to a further rise in Trumpism in 2024.
One thing I know for certain is, contrary to our intuition that dictators and oppressive regimes seem to come out of nowhere, they do not. My lengthy work here on Medium titled The Psychology of Fascism discusses the rise of such oppressive regimes from their own perspective, and typically in history, the most ruthless and tyrannical dictators have always followed a beta release, someone who tested the waters for them and left them with a roadmap to totalitarian success. Before Hitler, there was Mussolini, blabbering narcissistic idiot as he was, just like Trump. Trump’s goal isn’t oppression, it’s the slow and constant ego-stroking that his personality so desires…but what happens when Trump paves the way for someone truly nefarious to take over where he left off? When Trump is gone the Trump supporters — the angry, the racists, the economically underwater, the drowning, the isolated individuals all across America that our Corporatocracy has left behind — will all still be there…and they’ll want some payback for the failed promises and lack of a viable alternative. Call the Progressive agenda what you want, but it’s what’s necessary to fix an economy in shambles and get to the root of the problems which have caused the rise of Trump in the first place…because I don’t want to see the next Trump, perhaps with Alex Jones running for President of the United States and winning in a gerrymandered electorate with an angry population with whom his message resonates.
These are the thoughts that nightmares are made of…
As I always say, the difficulty in passing good legislation (or electing a good politician) is no excuse for the passage of bad legislation, and what we need are real fixes to some existential economic problems that besiege our nation. We shouldn’t lose focus on fixing and rebuilding our nation because of some short-term pain; we should impeach, we should move forward with an agenda that’s going to better the lives of everyday Americans, and we should hold true to our principles, rather than selling out for political convenience.
Lastly, it’s worth noting, that with the Arctic permafrost melting 70 years earlier than previously expected, it’s safe to say that Climate Change is ramping up to be a destructive beast unlike any that humankind has ever seen — we might not have a second chance at curbing the deepest crisis the human world has ever faced; if we don’t address Climate Change with drastic action now, it could very well seal the fate of the destruction of the world.
© 2019; Joe Duncan. All Rights Reserved