Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Deplorables

The Only Political Question that Matters?

You can’t avoid it.  The presidential election.  Everywhere you turn on the media, endless discussion of a reactionary racist billionaire and a war-mongering Wall Street clone.  It's 'close'!  It's 'close!'  Who to choose?  Who to choose?  Such a dilemma! 

The fact that the falsely ‘democratic’ electoral system in the U.S. has given us this choice shows that U.S. capitalism’s façade is really dropping.  It is as paper-thin as it has been in 80 years.  Two frankly reactionary candidates, each with their own severe problems that can’t be wiped away by rationalizations, has to give even the smarter members of the ruling class pause.  Why do the majority of people call themselves ‘independents,’ in spite of years of propaganda for the Democrats or the Republicans? Why do so few people vote in elections?  The last one in 2014 had the lowest turnout in history.  In the last round of Party primaries in 2016 less than 10% of the people voted. Why do these two candidates have the lowest ‘positive’ ratings in history?  All of this expresses a profound disassociation with this imitation democracy by a majority of the population.
Consider the Cow

Then there are the structural problems.  In elections, incumbents almost always win. Money has an inordinate finger on the scale.  Districts are absurdly gerrymandered to the point that Republicans have far more seats than Democrats, even though they have fewer voters.  Voter suppression, since first being exposed in the 2000 election in Florida, has become even more widespread, especially with the destruction of the Voting Rights act by the undemocratic ‘Supreme’ Court.  Even the Constitution limits actual democracy - the Senate is inherently anti-democratic and the Electoral College as well.  Winner-take-all election rules, which mitigate against other parties, are the overwhelming legal rule.  3rd parties are castigated for being ‘spoilers,’ not for promoting democratic choice.  You are spoiling the ruling class machine!  Hacking voting machines is current practice. Wall-to-wall propaganda coverage from cable, network television, public radio, corporate newspapers and websites all back up the same corporate messages.  The list goes on and seems to be getting worse.

Yet the political context is even more sinister.  Anyone who rejects an electoral charade in which the population is expected to believe the utterings of these laughable candidates, just as new-born babes trust their mothers, is ignored. We are to vote our ostensible identity and our pocketbooks without thinking, even though neither candidate actually cares about the working class – which is the majority across all ethnicities, nationalities and genders.  

In reality, it is the current lie of democracy that is being exposed – a situation that bodes ill for the future of this ‘democracy.’   It is becoming clearer – even to non-Marxists - that we do not have a real democracy.  We have a rhetorical democracy.  We have an oligarchy with two wings, running two different parties with tactical differences.  To “Occupy the Democrats” is like getting a suite at the Waldorf Astoria for free.  It is a fantasy, and always has been. 

The supporters of Trump are actually much higher-bracket Republicans than the press lets on, as his real base is white small businessmen and the self-employed.  His xenophobic, racist and sexist campaign brings to mind the Italian reactionary billionaire blowhard Silvio Berlusconi – not Adolph Hitler.  Right-wing demagogues have a long history in the U.S., so Trump is not something completely new.  Even so, large segments of the Republican capitalist class and their politicians are rejecting him and supporting Clinton.  Even neo-conservatives are flocking to Clinton, including Bush I, who has joined that club.  Perhaps it is Trump's reluctance to make war on Russia?  People wonder where Trump came from.  Political characters like Trump are using politics that have been embedded in prior party platforms for years, just putting them on steroids.  Like the wall to keep out Mexicans?  Already built by both Democrats and Republicans and ... the Israeli government, but the latter for Palestinians.   Deportations?  Massive practice even now.  And so on.

Trump ‘says’ he wants to take it up to a whole new level, but the capitalist handlers in the deep state and the military will have a sit-down talk with Trump if he wins and let him know how far he can go. Or else.

What created Trump?  The whole 40-year move to the right by the U.S. ruling class, which has ignored poverty, criminalized non-whites, deprived workers of jobs, sidelined unions and lowered wages.  Ultimately the hidden enabler is a Democratic Party that has collaborated with Republicans on many economic and political issues – though not all, as there are still tactical splits.  And that is why the Democrats are the ‘more effective evil,’ as Black Agenda Report describes them, preparing the ground for this vicious billionaire.  Continuing the tactic of backing a Wall Street supporting, incarceration-state loving, war-mongering Democrat only guarantees that the next Republican candidate might be even more effectively right-wing.  Both parties leave the majority – the working class – with little but empty phrases.  The “green” of money is the real identity we should keep track of.  Following the ‘green’ is the only way out of this mess to understand who are our real enemies and our real allies.

I must comment on the personal proclivities of Clinton supporters.  Clinton called Trump’s base 50% ‘deplorables’ at a $250K a plate fundraiser. You can imagine THAT audience was not exactly on the front lines of the ‘freedom struggle.’  “Racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic” as the chant goes.  You’d think Hilary was a real leftist with that, right?  Au contraire.  Trump actually used the phrase ‘working-class’ to counter her attack on his base, though some of it was certainly true.  Trump attracts bigots like shit attracts flies, but not all his supporters are bigots. In a way, this was Clinton's version of Romney's '47%' statement.

Lets look at Clinton’s reality about these issues.  Does she have a government-funded program to get rid of poverty and unemployment?  No.  Has she decided to back off the military up-arming of the police?  No. Has she come out clearly for marijuana legalization and against the incarceration state?  No.  Has she decided to reinstate AFDC?  No.  Has she backed off the privatization and re-segregation of charter schools?  No.  Is there a program of paid government child-care in the works?  No.  Or promotion of unions in mostly female workplaces?  No.  Has she pledged to get rid of discriminatory laws against gay people in the 29 states that allow businesses to fire you for being gay?  No.  Will she stop proclaiming "America" the essential country?  No.  Will she restrain herself from a warring on Russia?  No.  Will she refrain from arming ‘moderate’ jihadis or bombing another Middle-eastern or African country full of Muslims?  Or pulling the FBI off their practice of ‘terror’ stings in the Muslim community?  No.  It is all hot air designed to fool the credulous, just as Trump’s attempts to pretend he is some kind of working-class hero to whites is a complete fraud. 

They are both frauds because it is essential to lie to voters when you actually represent monied interests.

In actuality support for Clinton by Democratic Party loyalists is a form of preserving the status quo.  These people do not really want to change anything - they just fear that things might get worse for them.  For those who are in the labor movement or the working class, it is self-deception on a very personal level because they know that Clinton will do little for them, and Trump also.  Now you may chose to vote for the Clinton wing of the capitalist class as a more rational alternative – but understand clearly what you are doing. Don’t dress it up with pretty phrases about ‘fighting racism’ and the rest.  Just admit to yourself: “I back this group of rich people more. I don’t care about fundamental change."

'Lesser Evilism' is a permanent strategy in which the ruling elite limits any challenge to their two parties.  It is permanent because there will never be a time when there is not a supposed 'greater evil.'  Every election is always 'crucial' in this way - from LBJ/Goldwater on down. So in essence it says, 'shut up and get in line...forever."  It is essentially politically totalitarian.

Words mean something, but actual policies mean more.  It is the structural aspects of racism, sexism, homophobia and denigration of Middle-Easterners that need to be addressed, not just reciting clichés about identity. It is these structural aspects that materially maintain the actual experience of oppression, and continue the process of making ‘identity’ real in a capitalist society.

If Trump wins the election, this country will be up for grabs, as a good chunk of the population will go on a ‘war’ footing against him - and that is all to the good.  If Clinton II wins, things will go on as before, though the right will also go on a 'war' footing - but it might be something more violent then before.  The rightist development of the "Tea Party" into the "Alt Right" might lead to proto-fascist attacks on forces like Black Lives Matter and others.  This should be met with force if it occurs.  The NYT, Wall Street, the corporate media and the majority of the capitalist class is hoping and betting on the Clinton option 2 as the smoother choice for them.  However a split like this in the bourgeoisie makes capital very vulnerable. For the working class, neither candidate is acceptable.  And so the revolution in the U.S. advances on tiny, many-millioned mouse feet. 

Red Frog
September 25, 2016

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