Skip to main content

Vote for Bernie!

For what it’s worth, which admittedly isn’t much, I decided to write down why I support Bernie Sanders:

People sorting out their politics right now could be forgiven for viewing the global corporation as a source for social justice and the state an extension of Donald Trump’s toxic personality. This helps create this somewhat strange situation where there’s hostility towards corporations coming from the right (with a small section even critiquing markets) and a large swath of the liberal/left coming to terms with a globalized capitalism that shares many of their cultural values. 

This situation, it is important to say, is within the context of a growing wealth inequality we haven’t seen since the 1920s. (The richest 400 Americans own more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans.) 

The sectarian left is useless, only worth mentioning to point that out, and the mainstream of the Democratic Party sees the progressive corporation as the best possible ally to have. Many within the professional/managerial class more or less agree. (Understandably, I might add, as a more inclusive capitalism is indeed better than the opposite.) They have young, smart candidates who are actively trying to perfect this merger between corporate and liberal values. 

This situation also, however, offers us great historical conditions for populism. The populist right, prone to bigoted scapegoating already, will have plenty options to choose from the more liberal and corporate values merge. Sooner or later they will figure out Trump is a phony and his mix of bombastic bigotry and Reaganomics won’t be enough. Someone far worse will come along and judging from people’s reactions to Trump, we are not ready for that 

A better scenario, one I’m trying to help happen, is the Sander’s wing of the political spectrum gains serious and lasting power. (Most important, of course, the presidency of the United Stages.) They are the only progressive political force that can capture some of the discontent that would otherwise go to the populist right. This means not only power within the Democratic Party, which we have to deal with as a sort of accident of history, but also within all the organizations that are sympathetic to major social democratic reforms. (Call it social democratic, democratic socialism, left populism, whatever you want.) This means real reforms. Medicare for all. Free tuition for public colleges. A living wage for all. Sick pay. Actually fighting climate change. A coming to terms with our history of racism, sexism and various other issues that people are still dealing with today. A coming to terms with the cost, in dollars and lives, of our military presence throughout the world. All very big issues, some more tangible than others, but all issues that overlap greatly with wealth inequality. 

The only serious political movement that has made wealth redistribution its core theme is the Sander’s left. This has been his personal mission for decades. This is the fundamental reason I support them, and think you should too. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Someone get the CDC a thesaurus!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/cdc-gets-list-of-forbidden-words-fetus-transgender-diversity/2017/12/15/f503837a-e1cf-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html?utm_term=.9280df07ab70 I feel like this may be one of those stories that is quietly walked back in a week or so. Government bureaucracies are nothing if not committed to absolutely staying the same, and they can get around a word ban with little change in intent. Trump is hilariously committed to breaking brains of the liberal pundit class and his half-wit base loves it. It’s really all he has, as he hasn’t been able to get much else done. (Please don’t remind me of the tax bill that is all but certain to become law.)

The Piss Test

I find some perverse solace in knowing someone has to handle my piss, right there in front of me, in order to tell if I've been a good clean boy, or whether I've been dirty and bad. I hope there's at least a brief moment of " good god, what the fuck am I doing" (now she's tipping the capped piss container on its side in order to write something I assume is highly technical medical jargon on it.) Is it warm enough? Like baby formula, you have to warm up fake piss in the microwave before you can pass it off as your own. (The microwave wattage is important. I don't think altitude matters though.) I don't even know of any gods who care about piss temperature.  I know it's not her fault. It's a job. But holding piss, even if you label it a "specimen," is still a depressing way to sustenance. It's only slightly better than being a bill collector, a stock broker, or the President. We do share a bond. An unspoken understan
State power (that is the ability of the state to use brute force) has increased beyond any somewhat comparable moment in history, yet the state’s ability to everyday govern has decreased to historically poor levels. People (across the political spectrum) typically make sense of this through various conspiracy theories, some more attached to reality than others. (Many are nakedly conspiratorial, others have elements of structural analyses, usually done by trained post-structuralists of course.) America is ground zero, but this is not exclusively an American phenomenon. (China is a possible counter-example, though their competence is both exaggerated and relies heavily on the brute force part of the state.)  This creates a stalemate of sorts. The state lacks legitimacy, but also can’t be replaced. You can add Ross Douthat’s Laschian critique of societal “decadence” (drift may be a better word) to this context. His analysis is largely correct in my view and he’s also right that it’s relat