Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Sunday, July 29, 2012

America Is A Failing State But A Conspicuous Romney Failure Could Provide A Course Correction

Romney's bellicosity and promises of still more tax cuts for the richest of the rich are inviting yet another ballooning of the deficit, providing another pretext for the inevitable GOP calls for the dismantlement (privatization, voucherization, couponization) of social security, medicare, public education, veterans benefits, infrastructure in the midst of more pointless wars and amplifying Greenhouse storms.

Pointing out these outcomes doesn't require a crystal ball: Romney has endorsed the Ryan budget. He has made his irresponsible threats toward Iran and filled his foreign policy team with the dot-eyed neocon war-mongers like John Bolton who took us to war before and shake their fists demanding more war still. He has promised to deregulate the fraudsters and cut taxes on the super-rich like him who he calls "job creators" as though people who work for a living don't create jobs. He is now claiming nobody knows if climate change is happening and he is part of the drill baby drill crowd who want to go down in a howling orgy of planetary gorging. He wants to end Roe v Wade and close down Planned Parenthood and put queers back in their place (that is, back in the closet).

I honestly don't think Romney is going to be elected in November, although I am no longer sure his loss and Obama's win will provide the coattails to keep the Senate and regain the House for Democrats and therefore give Obama the agency to implement any kind of agenda. If the Republicans remain completely obstructionist, though, it is hard to see how we are going to ever clean up the mess a generation of Movement Republicanism culminating in the Killer Clown administration left us with, let alone how we can move forward into a more sustainable, equitable, diverse world. And at this point, racist yahoos in flyover states with crappy educations and Fox on the tee vee and futurological fantasies filling their heads could deliver Romney or any Republican something like an automatic 40% of the electorate even if he wore a KKK hood or propounded Leviticus from the stump.

Because of the Republicans America is a failed state, but because we have the greatest arsenal in the world and the richest resources in the world to insulate us from many of the actual consequences of our errors and our crimes, not to mention sensible liberals and progressives saying reasonable and warm things on the tee vee in between all the plutocratic and death-dealing neofeudal know-nothing bullying and bigotry it is perfectly possible for most of us to fool ourselves most of the time that we are not only not a failed state, or at any rate a failing one, but, quite to the contrary, the greatest nation on earth and the hope of the world.

Actually, America could well be a beacon of hope for a more sustainable equitable peaceful diverse world if it got its act together, but we haven't and we aren't and I think it's looking like we won't. Given the hard lessons of the Killer Clowns of the Bush Administration and given Romney's stated positions on issues an American electorate even marginally capable of understanding its situation enough to change it in time should deliver him the kind of loss that Goldwater suffered -- a matching debacle to provide the bookends to the Movement Republican epoch that tried to destroy the New Deal and the New Frontier and the Great Society and even in failing nearly managed to destroy the country and the planet with it. But I don't think Romney will lose in a landslide, I don't think Democrats will manage to regain the House (though I still expect and hope they will slim the Republican majority by a dozen, enough to make the chamber a wee bit less crazytown at any rate), and I am not at all sure Democrats can manage to keep the Senate and if they do it will be by the skin of their teeth and in ways that make the most powerful Senators the most conservative ones who will only vote with their own party instead of the GOP if every actually progressive element of legislation is watered down to near meaninglessness.

Given Supreme Court nominations, given the necessity to allow vulnerable advances for queers to gain a firmer foothold and to hold the line against the last-ditch misogynist tide against women's healthcare, given the power of the executive to imbed the implementation of healthcare and financial regulations more deeply in the social fabric, given the comparative greater sense of Obama toward Iran and toward soft power and multilateral diplomacy (a point conspicuously undermined by Obama's recourse to drones and assassinations and military tribunals and civil rights abuses as commander in chief and his full embrace and elaboration of the Unitary Executive, but in every case Romney can be expected to be worse, actually taking back on board the architects of these policies while actively disdaining diplomacy and multilateralism as "apologizing" and "weakness"), given the bully pulpit and White House initiatives to set the scene for better midterms this time around, given all this there are still more than enough reasons for even people who are far to the left of President Obama to support him vigorously in the hundred days between now and the election, not only to vote for him, but to hector friends and family into voting for the President again, supporting him with ad money to combat the corporate cash Niagara going to Romney from greedheads smacking their lips in anticipation of the great payback, supporting him with phone banking and door knocking and voter registration drives (especially in the face of evil Republican efforts at unprecedented voter disenfranchisement) and anything else you can.

Romney is just terrible and the Republicans are terrible and profoundly dangerous and they must be soundly defeated if they are to ever change course and become something like sane partners, however conservative, in the work of governing the country and solving our shared problems. The fact that idiot Americans fell for Republican death panel and where is the birth certificate and where are the jobs bullshit in the mid-terms ushering in two years of historically unprecedented dysfunction and a bazillion anti-abortion laws but no jobs and no solutions actually gave the worst most stupid most ugly forces in this country a new lease on life that should have been shattered by the catastrophe of the Bush years and the Obama repudiation.

A second Obama term provides another occasion for the kind of repudiation that could end Movement Republicanism and facilitate a deeper course correction in the midst of secularizing and diversifying demographic trends and weird weather driving home the lessons of catastrophic climate change. A burgeoning of still more radical politics like that represented by Occupy to the left of Obama and most Democrats can be a motor driving that course correction, but only so long as Occupy doesn't become a reason not to vote for Democrats between demonstrations and hence facilitate Republican victories which will create conditions under which Occupy will itself wither and die.

Democrats in control of all the branches of government, Republicans remaking themselves in the image of a saner conservatism in the face of complete marginalization, and a thriving polycultural democratic left to the left of party politics driving the culture and the politicians forward are all necessary to provide America the course correction from failed state to planetary partner in the work to heal and democratize the world. A devastating Romney loss can be an important piece of the puzzle, panel in the quilt, skirmish in the long struggle to bring us closer to where we need to be. There is no reason in the world for Romney not to lose in a landslide.

If he doesn't, you should worry. And if you don't help bring it about, you should be ashamed of yourself.


Darth Imperius said...

Why do you take such a mundane and superficial view of American politics? Aren't you aware that what you see in the media is all staged by Machiavellian magi who, regardless of whether they prefer Pepsi or Coke, all worship at the same altar: Satanic Power. The problem with your “side”, if you really are so gullible as to take sides in the professional wrestling match we call American democracy, is that they are hobbled by a rabble of idiot idealists who prevent their “leaders" from acting with the required unity, ruthlessness and dispatch.

I must also say I’m rather disappointed that you as a queer do not celebrate your own great tradition of Luciferian men of power, from Macedonia and Rome to the British and Germanic Empires, and have apparently bought into the utterly wretched Judeo-Christian-Marxist regime of modern democratic liberalism. Republicans don’t impress me either, but at least a few of them still have a bit of the old jackboot style, while your own party and people have become a truly pathetic band of weaklings. What I would really like to see are more artistically and queerly inclined people infiltrate both parties, and bring some much-needed Gothic, sinister style to a political spectacle that must rank as the most aesthetically and spiritually bankrupt in the history of civilization.

Where is our man of steel? Where is our Mohammed or Khan? Where is our glorious empire? I’ve got news for you friend: the age of liberalism is ending, the empires are returning, and your liberalism is little more than glorified weakness in a world that respects only power. Vote for power. Vote for empire. Don’t vote at all, just fucking take over!

So speaks Darth Imperius…

Dale Carrico said...

Setting aside the possibility that this is just a parodic riff on your part, in which case it is only marginally less boring than taking it straight would be, let me put my response this way:

There really are sides, and if you are not on one you are on the other, and even if the sides are not the ones we would prefer in our purer pacifism or socialism or anarchism or aestheticism or what have you, there they are nonetheless, the sides that are the sides there are, and one is incomparably worse than the other even if neither exactly looks good to me or you.

Also, as a queer of the pinko hippy faggot variety I can't say I take too kindly to your assimilation of queerness to fascism, and as a reader and teacher of Nietzsche I can't say I approve the warmed over fascist bowdlerized Nietzscheisms you are spouting either.

At the risk of being too earnest to get the joke, it looks to me like maybe you're so smart you are no longer able to see the difference between differences that make a difference -- that is to say, you're so smart you're stupid.

By way of conclusion, let me encourage you by all means to "just fucking take over," after all that is what democratization is all about, and perhaps while you are "doing that" you will notice that "just fucking taking over" requires rather more than mouthing off in the comments section of a blog.