I just wrote a nicely received article, warmly-supported by so many, one that addressed the full scope of danger in which we sit. The White House faces the greatest crises of a generation as it tears itself apart, our country fights to exist as a democracy, while much of the world looks on, either depending upon that very crises exploding, or simply terrified. It is a crushingly dangerous time, we’re right on the precipice of paradigm shifts that take generations to reverse.
For whatever reason, I feel compelled to address why it is the United States faces such daunting difficulty, why we’re not united against Russia in its control of Trump and his enablers.
Surprise, the root cause is all about money. Money drives the “party over country” ethos of the Trump Right.
We all know that it’s always about the money. Problem is, it was about the money in the Cold War, too. But, the Cold War created unity in the United States. So why the hell is it “about the money” now, and the money prevents the U.S. from uniting against Russian fascism/populism?
Well, I’m certainly no genius, but my career writing fiction affords me a little more time to research material from actual geniuses and figure out some of the basis for what’s pushing us into a bold new 21st century world of hot international conflict, cold civil war, and old-school Elizabethan serfdom.
Simple, really, if you want to have a “country,” you have to unite around common land and common interests. Weirdly, common interests, at least the ones that unite countries for good get helped along by a common enemy. the right enemy creates an environment where rich and poor alike need each other, need each other to “fight” side by side, as in World War II, or even somewhat like Vietnam,. Having an enemy to be thwarted assisted the U.S. in uniting (to some extent) the rich and poor alike since the last Gilded age. Some countries get by on enlightenment alone. We haven’t reached that point yet, by design of the Right.
During the Cold War, communism threatened the United States directly. On any given day, bombers could fly over the arctic cap, missiles could crash like lighting from orbit, and tanks could roll through our needed European friends. But, communism, more insidiously, threatened the United States by creating a giant road block to American business, too.
I mean, come one, was Kruschev, or company going to allow Exxon, Boeing, Apple, Intel and McDonald’s into their “axis” of power? No. You were not going to run into the Apple Store in East Berlin, and not just because Apple Stores hadn’t been invented yet. Damn sure Kruschev did everything he could to block all American oil companies back when there were multiple American oil companies.
The twin threats, death to body and business, made Russian communism, and to a lesser extent, Chinese communism, a real deal enemy. An entity that could eviscerate a city while also blocking needed markets, “stealing” global resources from the “right and proper people” to control such resources in the West.
This “real deal” enemy did one good thing for the United States. Despite all the strife, lives lost in the civil rights period, the painful pull out of outright American apartheid, the U.S. did grow into global power, while creating this cool new concept that genuinely helped people – the “middle class.”
Short and sweet, American royalty, the Vanderbilts, Kennedys, all them, they “allowed” the formerly “no hope of rising” class of Americans rise to middle and upper class wealth because American royalty damn well needed strong Americans alongside. Certainly it didn’t hurt that the Greatest Generation had memories of what the poor, the grunts, did to save the nation and the world in WW II. They shed blood together, and there probably was some real warmth, kinship, “we” (royal, I wasn’t born) were all in it together. If the bombs fell, the rich were no less dead than us. If the markets collapsed, everyone’s fortune fell.
Again, it’s just weird, but that enemy that did serve a purpose in uniting at least rich and poor Americans (and to a lesser extent, minorities and whites). It is absolutely no coincidence that the moment Gorbachev invented “Glasnost” and the iron curtain spread open to American business, communism fell, defeated. We did it, yay!
It left about one decade where there should have been a real peace dividend, the Clinton 90s. Except something went wrong. Instead, the Clinton 90s really set loose the forces Reagan lighted (but couldn’t fully capitalize upon), where American fortunes no longer rose and fell together.
Whereas the Cold War invented the Middle Class, the peace dividend 90s invented the one percent. Just, no one really recognized it as a bouncing baby.
The MI Complex, fully supported by the “Dow Jones”-type companies (Exxon, Chase, Walmart, Intel) was not going to sit still. THEY damn well need an enemy to be thwarted, or why the hell else have the most powerful military ever developed? The Neocons most-certainly noticed that “dove” Clinton cut back on military expenditures, actually cut down rather significantly, and -again, that wasn’t going to be tolerated.
Well, obviously they needed to find a new enemy. But, being viciously smart, the “neo-con-type” invented an enemy that wouldn’t be bad for business. No, they invented one that was good for business, and could never be defeated. Like the “War on Drugs,” “the War on Crime,” the War on Terrorism is just bullshit. There will never be a “VT Day” and ISIS will not shoot our satellites out of the sky, or occupy Florida.
I’m sure as hell not going full truther here, but if you researched what I have, there isn’t a single doubt to be had that the Cheney Administration – evil to the core – absolutely, positively, KNEW, that they would get hit massively by a terrorist attack. The Clinton White House on its way out the door, told the NeoCons, “Bin Laden and his posse are moving against the U.S.”
What did the Cheney Administration do? It kicked the terrorist czar out of the “principles” in National Security Counsel, denied the terrorist intelligence people a real meeting, and told them to focus on the Central American and South American drug cartels. Bush and his top people set about fully ignoring an intel system blinking red in the first 8 months of their administration, all to ensure that the terrorists did, in fact, hit us as hard as they could. You are an absolute moron if you think it’s purely coincidental that we had the modern Pearl Harbor – 9/11 – just 18 months after the Neo-Cons wrote a report specifically saying that “absent a modern Pearl Harbor” the MI Complex would be eroded. They allowed that attack.
Well, with a new enemy, and the Cheney Administration in place, the MI Complex got theirs (they always do), and the 1% got an enemy that actually didn’t threaten them, or the United States as a nation. This new enemy allowed a dynamic where the 1% no longer needed the poor and middle class Americans, not united against foreigners anyway. In fact, in elegant utility, the American 1% needed good relations with Russian 1%, Saudi 1%, German 1% and Chinese 1% and not giving a shit about the rest of us.
This Kochian 1% did, however, need votes, still. (Quaint, increasingly out-dated notion) and thus they started their own propaganda machine, Rush/Fox etc. that set about making “smart people” and “secularists” as the “liberal” “enemy” domestically. They called us “the elite” and polluted the need and respect for science, study, culture, brotherly love, gay rights, completion of the civil rights movement. It was breathtakingly easy to convince the white middle class/poor conservatives that WE were their enemy.
Obviously they did it well.
That brings us to today, and why in this current horrific environment, where we have the FBI able and ready to prove that Russians control our president, and indeed manipulated the voting process to place Trump to the presidency, the right isn’t bothered.
Look, only about 20% or less of the Trump voting base actually thinks Trump is 100% clean and the Russian involvement is a hoax. Most, do sort of know that Trump is dirty to some degree, but they’ll believe “just enough” of the propaganda to get by.
Why? Because to them, the Russians aren’t the enemy, Putin may not be “good,” but he’s damn sure not a democrat! So, in their minds, if Putin got Trump elected over sulpherous Clinton, on the condition that Putin control Trump internationally, that’s a “good enough” deal to the Alt-Right. They’ll take that deal and gleefully run, as they’re doing right now. Ask Hannity on truth serum.
They hate us only slightly less than they hate Islamic terrorists. We ALL hate terrorists of any fundie stripe. It’s just that the Alt-Right considers every Muslim a terrorist, while we consider the Muslims we run into as just “people.” The dynamic is such that the Koch-Trump-Alt Right axis gets to lump us together with terrorists, hated nearly as much, as an enemy FAR more dangerous than Putin.
It puts us in what I’m calling the Cold Civil War. The war is very real. Ask Mitch McConnell. In this war, the Fox-Right, Koch-Conservative, Trumpettes, are just FINE with aligning with Putin to defeat their enemy; Democrats.
Do NOT doubt that Mueller will expose the whole fking thing – even if Trump fires Mueller, someone on Mueller’s staff or the FBI/CIA/NSA is going to lump all their findings onto a zip drive and hand it to the NY Times’ top editors, say “you’re welcome” and walk out the door. If Mueller stays on and brings charges, the Cold Civil War will have its biggest battle yet. Very hot skirmishes may well bust out, because we’ll take to the streets.
Please don’t say “it will be all out war” to be dramatic in comments, because we do need to retain a foot in reality (unlike the right). Until such time as the Alt-Right leads Picket’s charge over the fence and have drones bomb our protests, killing 25,000 in one day, it WILL BE a Cold Civil War. That doesn’t mean people won’t die. It just won’t be the “hot Civil War” of the 19th Century.
I am not telling you people things you don’t know, just summing up real reality, which doesn’t get done enough.
In reality, “We” MUST remember that WE are the majority. Trump’s approval ratings certainly have never been over 50%. When Mueller’s material hits the streets, especially if the market stays down, Trump’s approval won’t be above 35%. We will be the majority, and likely will win …in the end. The problem is that the old “arc of the universe” can be real fking long, and round over people who get killed and hurt.
Our 65% cannot regain control of the country until such time as we know that the vote is secure from Russian manipulation. Trump controls the ability to ensure that conclusion. It is not going to be easy wrestling that control away from Trump, in order to wrestle it away from Putin.
But, a necessary strategy in our war MUST include convincing that 20% of conservatives who oppose Trump that we liberals ARE better than Russians and Putin fascism. It means we may need to swallow some of our purity, stop looking down on the Joe Scarboroughs, George Wills, Nicole Wallaces, Jennifer Rubins and share some resolution and convictions, as well as some respect, both ways.
For whatever their past sins, they have proven now that they are not our enemy in the fight for the country. They, too, reject Trump/Putin fascism, racism, corruption. They have different views on the size, structure of government, they might have very real near-unforgivable actions in their past, but share our view on the basic idea of “America” and country. This is real war, cold though it may be, and to win wars you align with people who you perhaps wouldn’t in other circumstances. The U.S. even teamed with Stalin when the alternative was Hitler.
Those of us who insist upon placing their purity above all else, refusing to ally with people such as those listed above (and possible Grahams, Collins, Flakes, who have flirted but not yet outright rejected Trump) in the task of ripping out country out of Trump/Putin’s hands, you are aggravating the Cold Civil War in your now hurtful need for liberal purity among fellow travelers.
We are in a fight for survival as a nation. Purity can truly hurt our country when misused.I put my progressivism up against any of you. I’ve dedicated thousands of pages to the idea. But, I’ll stand arm in arm with George Will to take our country back from Putin.
Our country was founded by the most radical liberals (relative to the time) in history. These flaming progressives, Washington, Madison, Jefferson, set up a system suited perfectly to ever evolve into further radical liberalism. We know this because we can point to a near clean record in victories along the way to a more perfect liberal union.
If we lose that system, we lose our country, we lose the promise that the radical liberalism our constitution could bring, and make ourselves susceptible to fascism, and all that goes with it; racism, homophobia, misogyny, nativism, repression of rights, violence, pain, and fear.
We can win, but only if we truly understand this war, only if we truly accept that the Right has declared us their enemy number 1(a), and have already teamed with whoever they need to take us down. We must do the same, but with AMERICANS, joining across ranks wherever we can.
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